Stablecoins are fundamental to the healthy growth of a blockchain ecosystem. That’s why the NEAR collective is excited to announce that TrueUSD (TUSD) is the first stablecoin coming to the NEAR mainnet.
TUSD is one of the world’s most secure and transparent stablecoins, and among the first to market. TUSD is collateralized 1-to-1 with dollars held in audited escrow accounts across multiple trust companies. This aggregate collateral is attested live – versus monthly, as is industry standard – by top independent accounting firm Armanino LLP.
As of writing, TUSD is the fifth-biggest stablecoin with a market cap of over $340 million. It’s available on over 80 exchanges, 160 markets, 20 OTC desks across five continents and is used across over 150 countries. However, TrustToken, the creators of TUSD, noticed that the scalability problems of the Ethereum blockchain were increasingly hampering the usefulness and functionality of their stablecoin, especially during the exploding popularity of DeFi.
Challenges With TUSD on Ethereum
Ever since the explosive growth of Decentralized Finance in 2020, gas fees on Ethereum have grown increasingly volatile. One day, a transaction might cost the equivalent of $0.25, while the next it would need $10 or more to complete. Unless you’re a sophisticated DeFi user, this makes participating in DeFi on Ethereum significantly harder, particularly for low-value transactions. Even for sophisticated users, gas fees across multiple transactions threatened the very yields DeFi would generate, demanding sizable sums to participate with positive ROI.
Depending on how congested the network is, transactions can take a long time to settle or fail altogether. So users can end up paying a high transaction fee, waiting a long time, and ultimately not completing the requested transaction. It’s a poor user experience that discourages users to transact.
Why TrustToken is Bridging TUSD to NEAR
The scalability problems on Ethereum made it increasingly hard for people to transact with TUSD at a reasonable price, and in a meaningful time frame. TrustToken started looking for a blockchain platform where they could expand the use cases of TUSD without sacrificing the integrity and the security of their underlying protocol. They found this platform in NEAR.
Using NEAR, TUSD can become a stablecoin that:
- has even lower gas fees, despite network fee fluctuations
- processes transactions in seconds, not minutes (1 second block time and 3 second finality)
- retains its built-in security
- supports a wide variety of use cases
- benefits from a full stack of developer tools, already launched MainNet
With TUSD on NEAR, DeFi/Open Finance will no longer be limited to sophisticated users with large holdings. The price of gas is low, predictable, and universal with NEAR. Both small and large transactions will cost only a fraction of a cent. Anyone should be able to participate in the Open Finance ecosystem, regardless of how much money they’re investing.
TUSD is set to become a cornerstone stablecoin in the NEAR ecosystem. Additionally, NEAR has been built with scalability in mind. This means that it can support games with millions of users. It’s one of the reasons why VHS, the creator of horse racing game ZED, decided to transfer their games from Ethereum to NEAR.
TUSD can become the primary means of transaction inside those games. The same goes for NFTs. Popular NFT marketplace Mintbase is moving to NEAR because the gas fees on Ethereum were too high. The NFT space is heating up and bringing in ever more people, so its DApps need to rely on a blockchain platform where gas fees are low, transactions settle quickly, and where the network can handle a large number of users.
Prediction markets, too, are struggling because of Ethereum’s high gas fees. Market protocols such as Flux are moving to NEAR because of it. With the ETH-NEAR Rainbow bridge, people can use a stablecoin such as TUSD to interact with these market protocols without even realizing which blockchain platform the protocols have been built with.
Finally, everyday retail payments become a possibility with TUSD on NEAR. As more companies outside the blockchain world learn about the potential of the Open Web, they could integrate TUSD into their payment options. Eventually, you’ll be able to TUSD to pay for invoices, travel booking, and morning coffee – with an asset already denominated in dollars, like the goods being sold. TUSD is expected to go live on NEAR late 2020 / early 2021.
Native usability is NEAR’s primary concern. Features such as its contract-based account model and NEAR Drops make NEAR significantly more usable for developers and end users. Additionally, NEAR has focused on bringing performance for applications. The dynamic sharding approach called Nightshade works on top of a proof-of-stake BFT consensus mechanism called Doomslug. This allows network throughput to scale as demand grows. It targets 1-second blocks so developers can build performant applications.
TrustToken builds modern financial infrastructure to make economic opportunity open to all. TrustToken’s TrueCurrencies (TUSD, TGBP, THKD, TCAD, TAUD) are the world’s first and only independently live-attested, fully collateralized stablecoins.
Collectively trading on over 100 exchanges and OTC desks, TrueCurrencies generate billions in monthly volume in +150 countries. Enjoy near instant transactions, the lowest transaction costs of any stablecoin, easy exchange between fiat, obsessive customer service and easy access to earning opportunities.
The TrueFi platform is pioneering a new approach to on-chain uncollateralized lending, letting TRU holders vote on borrowers and deal terms and creating more ways for TrueCurrency users to generate returns in DeFi.
It’s only halfway through the week and it’s been busy at NEAR — the just-announced MainNet has now produced over 1.5 million blocks since genesis and we’ve hosted over a dozen talks, workshops and events as part of organizing the epic Ready Layer One conference (which ends today). This rolls into the RL1 Hackathon over the next two weeks and… we’ll probably find time to sleep someday.
At this point, we’ve told the story of Open Money, Open Finance and the Open Web but the best way to make this concrete is to see real examples. With MainNet out, we want to begin surfacing some of the fantastic applications that are building on NEAR and use them to help explain why the NEAR platform is so special. That’s why we’re firing up the coffee pot for another leap onto the virtual stage to showcase the following teams at next week’s Consensus: Distributed conference:
- 1inch Exchange (Anton Bukov), a decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregation platform which allows teams to find the best prices on the market. Typically, trying to move high volumes on DEXes results in poor fills and price slippage but they help spread the volume out across multiple exchanges to prevent this. Their platform relies on fast and low cost transactions, which is part of what brought them to build on NEAR.
- TessaB (Tanuj Nigam), a company which facilitates the secondary market for mobile devices by removing multiple middlemen from the process. They track provenance, power financial transactions and offer on-device app stores using the blockchain.
- Stardust (Canaan Linder), a platform which allows game developers to both increase revenue and improve their players’ experiences by easily adding a secondary marketplace for digital goods. NEAR gives them a set of UX tools and flexible accounts that no one else can so they can offer the end-users of their game developers a fantastic experience while introducing them to blockchain.
- Flux (Peter Mitchell), a protocol which powers easy markets for a variety of applications including helping Twitch streamers create live betting experiences around their streams. NEAR gives them performance and usability.
Mark your calendar!
NEAR and the four Open Web builders will be presenting at Consensus: Distributed on
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 @ 6-7pm EST
At the event, we’ll provide a brief overview of the NEAR MainNet, take questions from the audience and then allow the projects to shine:
- Changelog: The NEAR MainNet is Live (Illia Polosukhin, Co-founder of Near Inc)
- Construct: The Open Web Collective with Anton @ 1inch, Tanuj @ TessaB, Canaan @ Stardust and Peter @ Flux.
- Closing remarks
In addition, Amos Zhang (Strategic Lead – China @ NEAR) from our team will join forces with Jieli (Jerry) Li (Ant Financial & Alibaba), Harriet Cao (Co-founder @ IRISnet), and Jan Xie (Co-founder @ Nervos ) on a session hosted by Coindesk China at Consensus Distributed. The session will start at 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM EST (or 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Beijing Time) on May 12th.
How can you join?
Register for Consensus (it’s free) and find us on the virtual stage. See you there!