Crypto’s latest depegging disaster may take a turn for the better for affected investors. The issuer of failed real estate-backed stablecoin USDR plans to liquidate the token’s assets and hold a redemption.
“Our focus now is to make users whole,” Michael Slatkin, who leads marketing for USDR issuer Tangible, said in the group’s Discord server late Wednesday.
Holders of USDR will be able to redeem their severely devalued stablecoins for a mix of cryptocurrency assets, some of which represent real estate in the U.K., according to an announcement on the server. It's unclear how much value the redemption process – which could take months – will ultimately return for investors.
USDR fell from its $1 peg to nearly 50 cents this week after much of the asset’s DAI reserves got drained by investors fleeing the token, which is backed primarily by real estate holdings.
It’s among the first high-profile failures in a niche sector of the crypto markets called real-world assets (RWA) whose proponents find various ways to tokenize more traditional investments like real estate and treasuries. The $45.5 million USDR in circulation was trading at a 44% discount at press time.
The real estate investments that represented 78% of USDR’s backing also generated yields as high as 16% for its investors, according to the project. This supposedly made the stablecoin more appealing than more common dollar-pegged assets, like Circle’s USDC.
But it also made it riskier. Circle keeps much of its stablecoin’s reserves in highly liquid (and incredibly safe) short-term Treasury bonds. In contrast, USDR’s more speculative, illiquid real estate assets can’t be sold quickly to meet the bank run-like conditions that played out this week, one investor said.
Tangible, which specializes in creating such RWAs, will abandon USDR once the redemption is complete according to Slatkin’s statement.
“We tried something new, we learned from the experience, and we’ll keep building,” Slatkin said in the announcement. “New products, both announced and unannounced, will improve on what was developed for Real USD and Tangible will continue to be a leader in the category.”
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.