Spend enough time investing in (or reading about) the cryptocurrency world, and it’s easy to become a bit jaded about the wild, unpredictable price swings that seem to come with the territory. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way, say some blockchain developers.

The trick, they argue, is to peg the price of a crypto-token to that of a fiat currency like the US dollar. “Blasphemy!

Heresy!” come the cries from the crypto-originalists, the hard core in the community who hopped on board this careening bandwagon in the conviction that cryptocurrencies were invented to replace fiat money, not coexist with it. And there is plenty of legitimate criticism to be leveled at “stablecoins.” Some say the concept as a whole simply isn’t viable.

Nevertheless, of late it has drawn plenty of interest—and venture capital. So let’s investigate.

This piece first appeared in our twice-weekly newsletter, Chain Letter, which covers the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Sign up here—it’s free! The schemes: The idea of a stablecoin is in fact several years old, and dollar-pegged tokens(for example, Tether and TrueUSD) are already available on some cryptocurrency exchanges. Read more from technologyreview.com…

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