Crypto Pegs: What you need to know

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By Tokenize Xchange
May 15, 2024

For those who are currently investing in the cryptocurrency market, stablecoins are likely a familiar term. These coins are created through a process that involves pegging their value to a financial asset. This ensures that the value of a stablecoin remains constant, regardless of crypto market fluctuations.

What does pegging mean in crypto?

1.1. Crypto pegging is a mechanism where the value of a cryptocurrency is tied or pegged to the value of another asset, such as a fiat currency or a commodity. The goal of pegging is to provide stability and reduce the wild price swings associated with digital currencies.

The most common asset that cryptocurrencies are pegged to is the US dollar, as it is globally recognized. Stablecoins like Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), and TrueUSD (TUSD) are examples of cryptocurrencies that maintain a 1:1 value ratio with the USD. They offer a digital alternative to the traditional dollar with the added benefits of blockchain technology.

1.2. The concept of a currency peg is a well-established practice in the financial world, long before the birth of cryptocurrencies. 

For example, after World War II, the Bretton Woods system was established to create a stable economic environment. Under this system, various countries pegged their currencies to the U.S. dollar, which was in turn pegged to gold at a fixed rate. 

Historically, many currencies were backed by gold, meaning that the value of paper money was directly linked to a specific amount of gold. This system is known as the gold standard. However, the gold standard was gradually abandoned in the 20th century, as many countries moved towards more flexible exchange rates and fiat currencies that are not directly linked to any physical commodity.

How does crypto pegging work?

Here are some common types of pegged cryptocurrencies:

2.1. Pegging to Fiat Currencies ( Fiat-backed Stablecoins) 

  • Mechanism: These stablecoins are directly pegged to traditional money. By maintaining a 1:1 ratio with a fiat currency, such as USD, EUR, or GBP; these stablecoins aim to combine the benefits of digital currency — like faster transactions and lower fees — with the stability of government-issued currencies. This makes them less volatile compared to other cryptocurrencies, which can fluctuate wildly in value. It’s a practical choice for those looking to minimize risk while participating in the digital economy.
  • Example: Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard (PAX)

2.2. Pegging to commodities (Commodity-backed stablecoins)

  • Mechanism: These stablecoins are backed by physical assets like gold, platinum, or real estate with a ratio of 1:1 as well. For instance, a gold-backed-stablecoin might be pegged to one gram of gold. This type of stablecoin provides an actual connection to the real-world value, which can be particularly appealing to investors looking for assets with intrinsic value.
  • Example: Tether Gold (XAUt), Paxos Gold (PAX)

2.3. Pegging to crypto (Crypto-backed stablecoins)

  • Mechanism: These stablecoins are backed by a basket of Cryptocurrencies instead of traditional currencies. There will be a process called over-collateralization, where a larger amount of the backing cryptocurrency is held as collateral to issue a smaller amount of the stablecoin. 
  • Example:

      – Dai (DAI): which is pegged to the US dollar and backed by Ethereum. Users can generate Dai by locking up their Ethereum in a smart contract, which acts as collateral. 

      – sUSD (Synthetix): is backed by Ethereum (ETH) and Synthetix Network Token (SNX), to maintain its peg to the US dollar.

2.4. Algorithmic Stablecoins

  • Mechanism: These stablecoins rely on algorithms and smart contracts to maintain their peg to a fiat currency, usually the US dollar. They are designed to use smart contracts to manage the supply of the stablecoin automatically. The objective is to ensure that the stablecoin’s price remains stable by adjusting the supply when it deviates from its peg.
  • Example: Terra (UST) was designed as a stablecoin, with its value pegged to the US dollar, while LUNA functioned as the counterpart token that helped maintain UST’s price stability.  

Pros and Cons of Crypto Pegging

3.1. Pros of Crypto Pegging

  • Stability: Pegging a cryptocurrency to a stable asset can help reduce volatility, making it more predictable and suitable for everyday transactions.
  • Increased Trust: Pegged cryptocurrencies that offer transparency and stability can boost user and investor confidence.
  • Increased adoption: Stablecoins pegged to widely recognized assets like the US dollar can encourage more people to use cryptocurrencies for everyday transactions.
  • Facilitates trading: Stablecoins can serve as a bridge between traditional financial markets and the cryptocurrency space, allowing for easier trading and liquidity provision.
  • Cross-border transactions: Pegged stablecoins can facilitate cross-border transactions by providing a stable medium of exchange without the need for traditional banks and financial institutions.

3.2. Cons of Crypto Pegging

  • Centralization risk: Depending on the mechanism used for pegging, there may be centralization risks if a single entity or organization controls the pegging process, which goes against the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies.
  • Regulatory challenges: Pegged cryptocurrencies may face regulatory challenges, especially if they are perceived as competing with traditional fiat currencies or stablecoins issued by central banks.
  • Market fluctuations: During market fluctuations, it can become difficult to maintain the peg for collateralized Stablecoins, particularly those facing sharp declines in collateral value.
  • Algorithmic risks: Those cryptocurrencies that use smart contracts or oracles to maintain the peg stable can be compromised or manipulated, which can lead to incorrect pricing information and disrupt the peg.
  • Counterparty risk: the institution that creates the stablecoin could oversupply its coins


The future of pegged cryptocurrencies depends on various factors. As interest in the cryptocurrency realm continues to grow, the utilization of Stablecoins and similar pegged digital currencies is expected to rise. They are poised to become essential elements within the decentralized finance (DeFi) landscape to meet upcoming demands. Moreover, enhanced regulatory clarity could enhance confidence in Stablecoins, drawing in institutional investors and setting the stage for their widespread integration into everyday transactions. 

The world of Cryptocurrency is always changing at a rapid pace. The overall state of the market, technological breakthroughs, and changes in regulations will all help determine the future of Pegged Cryptocurrencies. So keeping a close eye on industry movements and keeping an eye on regulatory updates will be important in making decisions in this changing world.

👉 Find out more about Pegged Cryptocurrency at Tokenize Xchange Platform


Cryptocurrencies are subjected to high market risk and volatility despite high growth potential. Users are strongly advised to do their research and invest at their own risk.