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News/Wobbly Peg: TrueUSD Deviations Raise Eyebrows

Wobbly Peg: TrueUSD Deviations Raise Eyebrows

Van Thanh Le

Jan 18 2024

6 months ago3 minutes read
Anime-style futuristic cityscape with chibi robots exchanging crypto tokens, highlighting TUSD's depegging amidst market chaos

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TrueUSD Drifts Off Dollar in Market Downturn

TrueUSD (TUSD), a stablecoin designed to mirror the US dollar, took a tumble on January 16th, 2024. Slipping from its intended $1 peg, TUSD is trading at around $0.988, sending ripples of concern through the cryptocurrency community.


Binance, a leading player in the cryptocurrency exchange arena, witnessed a substantial imbalance in TUSD's trading activities. The exchange recorded an overwhelming $444 million in TUSD sell orders compared to a significantly lower $301 million in buy orders, indicating a notable flow deficit.


Delving into the reasons behind this fluctuation, CryptoQuant analyst Bradley Park points to a series of interconnected factors. TUSD's market capitalization reduction is closely linked to the aftermath of the HTX and Poloniex hacks, events that rattled the crypto world. Furthermore, TUSD's association with Justin Sun, a notable figure in the cryptocurrency landscape, alongside Binance's increased emphasis on First Digital's FDUSD trading pairs, has also been identified as a contributing factor.

Adding to the complexity of the situation, Binance's strategic decision to exclude TUSD from staking in its Launchpad projects, favoring FDUSD and BNB instead, is seen as a pivotal move that likely accelerated TUSD's de-pegging.

Amidst these developments, concerns regarding the transparency of TUSD's attestations and reserves have surfaced, stirring debate in the crypto community. However, Techteryx, the firm at the helm of TUSD, firmly denies any irregularities in their operations. Additionally, they refute claims of Justin Sun's involvement as a shareholder, aiming to dispel any doubts about their governance and operational integrity.

TrueUSD's Depegging, Doubts, and a Dwindling Supply

TrueUSD, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, has endured a turbulent recently. After a brief dip from $1 to $0.984, it's recovering a bit, but questions linger about its stability. This isn't the first time TUSD has faced such volatility; in fact, this marks its second notable decline against the US dollar in just a span of two months.

Amidst this turbulence, TrueUSD has grappled with challenges concerning the real-time attestations of its reserves. This critical aspect raises eyebrows around the potential undercollateralization of the coin. 

Adding to the narrative, Protos shed light on an interesting shift within TrueUSD's framework: the change of its accounting firm from The Network Firm to Moore Hong Kong. Intriguingly, this transition coincided with the recent de-pegging episode, further fueling market speculations.

Surreal landscape with a melting clock showing TUSD.webp

A closer look at the composition of TrueUSD's reserves reveals a dominant presence of US Treasury Bills, complemented by a fractional proportion in cash scattered across various institutions. This diversification, however, hasn't shielded it from scrutiny. 

Reports surfacing on January 10 pointed towards difficulties faced by TrueUSD in offering transparent, real-time attestations of its reserves. This hinted at potential cracks in its financial armor, suggesting undercollateralization. 

However, the situation appears to have taken a turn for the better, with recent reports indicating a functional reserve system boasting a collateral balance of 101%.

Source: TrueUSD

Despite these efforts, the repercussions of these events are palpable. The ongoing drama surrounding TrueUSD has left a marked impact on its supply, which has plummeted to below $2 billion. This is a significant drop, hitting its lowest point since June 2023.

Binance's TUSD Gambit: A Delicate Dance with Stablecoins

Binance's decision to embrace TrueUSD (TUSD) as a zero-fee trading pair initially seemed a boon for the stablecoin. Volume surged, but the joyride proved short-lived. Coinciding with TUSD's de-pegging, FDUSD volume on the exchange soared, suggesting a shift in investor focus towards the new stablecoin's launch pool and the Binance Manta launchpad.

Whispers swirled that TUSD holders, disappointed with the launchpad pool's delayed opening, cashed out, triggering the de-peg. Adding fuel to the speculation, discrepancies emerged between TUSD prices across exchanges. Poloniex, for example, offered the stablecoin at an 8% discount compared to Binance. Yet, attempts to exploit this arbitrage opportunity seemed thwarted, with Poloniex users in their Telegram group reporting difficulties withdrawing or depositing TUSD.

TrueUSD Continues to Depeg Amidst Sell-Off and Redemption Woes

TrueUSD, a dollar-pegged stablecoin, took a tumble on Thursday morning in Asia, dipping to $0.9708 in a continuous sell-off. This development sent ripples through the market, particularly on Binance, where a significant sell-off hasn’t been stopped. The exchange's data painted a clear picture: approximately $236.6 million of TrueUSD was sold through the TUSD-USDT trading pair, while $160.8 million was bought, culminating in a net outflow nearing $75.8 million.

tusd details.png
Source: Binance

 The TrueUSD team, while acknowledging this fluctuation, attributed it to the dynamics of Binance Launchpool, suggesting a business-as-usual scenario in the volatile crypto market.

This depegging incident wasn't just a matter of numbers but also raised questions about trust and reliability. CoinDesk shed light on the challenges some firms faced with denied redemption requests. This situation fueled existing doubts about converting TUSD to fiat currency swiftly and reliably. 

The market response to TrueUSD's instability was immediate and apparent, with its value dropping to as low as 97 cents before making a shaky recovery to 99 cents. Amidst this turmoil, a notable move to stabilize the coin involved a transfer exceeding $60 million to Binance, a transaction linked to Tron's founder, Justin Sun.

tusd price.png

In a bid to restore faith and clarity, TrueUSD announced a significant upgrade to its audit system. Partnering with MooreHK, a reputable accounting firm based in Hong Kong, the company aimed to bolster transparency and strengthen trust among its users. 

This move came at a crucial time, especially considering the earlier waves of skepticism that had surfaced on social media. Questions about TrueUSD's collateralization and its ability to back its tokens with real-time attestations had been a topic of concern for some time.

Key Takeaway

The depegging of TrueUSD underscores the fragility and complexity of stablecoin markets, influenced by external hacks, exchange policies, and trust in attestation processes. Binance's strategic decisions, particularly its focus on FDUSD and exclusion of TUSD in key projects, played a significant role in TUSD's market dynamics. This situation highlights the need for transparency and robust reserve management in the stablecoin sector, as investor confidence and market stability are closely tied to these factors.


1. Why did TrueUSD lose its peg to the US dollar?

A combination of factors contributed, including the aftermath of crypto exchange hacks, association with Justin Sun, and Binance's strategic shift towards FDUSD. Concerns about transparency in reserve attestations and a delayed Launchpool opening for TUSD also fueled selling pressure.

2. How serious is TrueUSD's depegging?

While temporary, it marks the second decline in two months, raising doubts about future stability. Supply has dropped significantly, and questions linger about potential undercollateralization.

3. What role did Binance play in the depegging?

Binance initially boosted TUSD trading volume by offering zero fees, but later prioritized FDUSD, potentially leading to investor migration. Excluding TUSD from Launchpool projects and discrepancies in TUSD pricing across exchanges further contributed to the instability.

4. What does this mean for the future of stablecoins?

The TrueUSD event highlights the vulnerability of stablecoin markets to external factors and lack of trust in some attestation processes. It underscores the need for greater transparency, robust reserve management, and diversified stablecoin ecosystems to ensure long-term market stability.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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