Will MobileCoin eventually launch a stablecoin? If not, wouldn't its volatility make it a speculative asset rather than a payments token?

An example of how to do this would be to copy the MakerDAO model and use MobileCoin as the collateral asset. This would require smart contract functionality. Is this on the roadmap, or is the team convinced that a volatile asset would still be used for payments? Of course, a Turing complete language hosted on a blockchain brings up countless difficulties, so it’s far from simple.

I don’t speak for the MC team, however I am wondering what is the benefit of creating a stablecoin. Why not just use fiat directly?

The protocol is already quite complex and advanced, so I also wonder if implementing a smart contract apparatus (assuming it is even possible) would bloat the system dangerously. Each small detail added requires a lot of careful thought as it is…

Hey koe,

Implementing smart contracts would definitely be years down the line, well after the first stable release of the protocol. I’m not even sure it’s possible given that users can’t read the ledger (though I believe it is, just not straightforward)!

As for the benefits, I think they’re fairly self-evident. Obviously someone could always just use fiat, but the premise of this conversation is that privacy is desirable—which fiat can’t offer. A private stablecoin is the holy grail of private payments.

For example, take a look at the Ethereum ecosystem. Nobody uses ETH for payments—they use DAI (or USDC or etc.). See Dharma for example. Volatile currencies just don’t lend themselves well to payments.

Hi Perditus,

Thanks for your interest in MobileCoin. Currently, we do not have any new announcements to share at this time. Future updates to roadmap will be posted on the MobileCoin Foundation Website.

Perditus,

It is true that modern fiat was originally just credit on gold, and only after it was well-established was the link severed. A stablecoin that is effectively credit on fiat or fiat-denominated collateral seems categorically the same (and hence plausible - well, they do exist after all).

I think there are a couple downsides to that credit-on-fiat approach.

  1. If the fiat experiences inflation, then your credit will also inflate. It may seem like you could sever the connection if inflation gets too bad, but unless the economy using your coin is well-established you will seriously undermine the coin’s utility and may destroy it completely if users consider that severance a violation of the social contract.
  2. If the true owners of fiat (central governments) decide they don’t like your coin, then you are probably SOL. Such coins are not very censorship-resistant, nor can they easily resist becoming centralized if the fiat owners ‘invade’.

Hey koe,

  1. Like it or not, the vast majority of people have more confidence in the short and long term stability of fiat (especially USD) than BTC, ETH, MOB, etc. And, that’s right, severing the peg would be a violation of the social contract.

  2. Have you taken a look at the MakerDAO system? DAI is a censorship-resistant stablecoin pegged to the USD and, while it is susceptible to manipulation in the short-term if the attacker possesses a lot of resources, its long-term (soft) peg is fairly resilient imo. And it is not possible for it to “become centralized” due to any sort of government invasion–how would that work?

I have not had a chance to look at MakerDAO, however what if a government outlaws the use of fiat-based collateral, or says only ‘licensed’ people can post collateral? My point is any time you depend on fiat, the fiat owners have a thread of control. Just tug on that thread and your trust model falls apart.

That’s not how it works. It doesn’t rely on fiat-based collateral, which is why it’s censorship-resistant. The collateral asset is mainly ETH.

Hmm I see, well it would be interesting at least to see a proposal for how such a system could be implemented with MobileCoin.

Would you like to collaborate on that?

Right now I am very focused on finishing Mechanics of MobileCoin, however once that is done I may have head space to think about it.

I am hesitant to get into this convo too deeply as I find it becomes very circular with several very strong opinions. Every coin out there has had to justify its existence, benefits and ease of access.

No matter how you feel about fiat, its use case and implementation, the undeniable fact that it is used by everyone, has a long track record and solid reason for existence. Privacy wise, fiat (in the form of cash) is the most censorship free and equilatorian means of payment out there to date (ie. no credit history needed, portable, etc.).

Should MobileCoin launch a stable coin? I do not think so. The legal, privacy, insurance and issuance requirements are enormource and takes away from the core functionality- that of building a stable platform.

IF there is to be fiat on the platform it will be more likely IMO that it should be case specific- say launching a partnership for a M-Pesa type of operation where local fiat would be represented. In those cases MOB could act as bridge currency between the various fiats and add liquidity where needed.

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Howdy,

Without going into too much detail, we’ve explored doing a stablecoin and, if we were to launch something like that, it would be after much careful consideration. There’s a lot of tradeoffs here.

Cheers,
Joshua