Crypto’s Greatest Experiment Looks All But Over

Never say never, but some of DeFi’s boldest explorers might view the last year as an experience not to be repeated.

The weeks of chaos in decentralized finance that followed the $60 billion collapse of Terra last spring soon turned into months of stagnation. Now, it seems like crypto’s outlandish bet on the infallibility of algorithmic money is all but history.

For DeFi — an area that was once thought of as the ultimate playground for financial experimentation, a place to borrow, lend and place bold bets without intermediaries like banks — Terra’s failure has left a lasting mark. DeFi volumes are down, the amount of money invested on these platforms has been flat for months and, most importantly, the sector’s once top-tier yields are a thing of the past.

But it’s algorithmic stablecoins — tokens that try to maintain a 1-to-1 US dollar value through a complex mix of code and trader incentives, rather than reserves of assets — that are faring the worst.

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