[Discussion] Alternative to “stablecoin?”

Ever since the Gorton & Zhang paper in July, the regulatory discussion about stablecoins has thankfully narrowed to just those that are “convertible to fiat.” This shift in legislative and regulatory focus was also apparent in private conversations, and cemented by the recent publication of proposed legislative changes and regulatory oversight for stablecoins by the President’s Working Group, FDIC, and OCC. This trend has also been reflected in publications out of the ECB and BIS.

To me, it appears that the term “stablecoin” is used very differently within government circles, and implicitly or explicitly excludes Maker and DAI. Just as Maker is not a bank (and the burdens that come with that title), DAI is perhaps best described as something other than a stablecoin (now that stablecoin-specific regulation is being advanced).

When speaking with lawmakers or officials, what are some alternatives we can uses besides stablecoin — now that it appears likely DAI will escape burdensome regulation that is being advocated for our competitors?

I think it’s clear DAI is not “algorithmic” — both in fact and in that regulators are aware those exist and have suggested they will get to them in due course.

So… what are some good alternative colloquialisms to use in place of “stablecoin?” Something informal and without immediately associating Maker/DAI with impending regulations.

Attn: @jacek who might have some ideas already on this


No fair. The others should be renamed fiatcoin.


I think an informal word to disguise the fact that DAI is a stablecoin might be “Collateralised Currency”.


While using a different term is rarely (if ever) a sufficient standalone policy strategy, I think that it does make sense to brainstorm a little bit about alternatives for “stablecoin”. Ever since Facebook has first announced their stablecoin plans in 2019, Maker has been dragged into the never-ending discussion on how we are different if the product (= “stablecoin”) is purportedly the same.

Right now, according to my observations in the US, EU and other places (including international initiatives like FATF), the following potential triggers for stablecoin regulations are being proposed:

  1. “Stablecoin” maintains a stable value relative to a specified asset, especially fiat currency

  2. “Stablecoin” is redeemable for / convertible to fiat currency

  3. “Stablecoin” is used as means of payment (this exact point seems to bother policymakers most, as this is where stablecoins may become competition to fiat, including CBDCs)

Maker cannot do much about no. 1 as long as Dai is soft-pegged to USD (or other fiat currency). It seems that this is already a globally adopted definition of a “stablecoin”. This is however a very broad definition which—as we can see already—may not be actually used as a regulatory category for the first wave of stablecoin regulations. The focus is rather on no. 2 and 3 stablecoins.

Dai is surely not no. 2, and I would even say that it is not no. 3 in terms of retail adoption (when compared to traditional payment options).

Maker should focus on pursuing the narrative that while Dai is a stablecoin within the meaning of no. 1, the new regulatory frameworks should not not apply / are not appropriate due to lack of no. 2 and 3 characteristics.

If there is a good new term which could help convey this message, that would be helpful for sure.


Way to punt! What’s a suggestion (it’s ok if it’s terrible)? :joy:

But names do matter to the unsophisticated. I’m having flashbacks to how it took almost 15 minutes to get a PhD banking advisor to understand MakerDAO != The DAO.

Maybe “fixed exchange rate coin?” Nah, too long. But to the non-crypto crowd, a new category would be helpful.

You want something that actually conveys the distinction of being being redeemable vs. not? Or just another word with a similar meaning to stablecoin?

“Ain’t no way this value be changin’” coin?



It’s open season. What have you got?

Only thing I’d avoid is including “dollar” or “synthetic” as those have also been targeted

The former is very difficult. The latter is much easier and fun.


or perhaps my favorite:



Yes, it is very interesting what you say, because WBTC is a stablecoin linked to BTC.

Just like PAXGOLD.

I think the name “collateralised currency” is a good one, although it also sounds interesting to me.

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I could see this one instilling the correct sense of calm in certain congresscritters. Inert just sounds harmless

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Ok, let’s just you and me go make a harmlessmooncoin, exit at the top, and use the proceeds to buy a country to then have Maker be the central bank of. Seems the path of least resistance.

But honestly? This is totally the vibe we want to project. But maybe a hard sell if crypto gets wind of DAI being a harmlesscoin

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I like the idea of shifting the definition a lot. “Stablecoin” has become a somewhat toxic term for various reasons.

We always used to talk about “decentralized and collateralized” (we wrote a fairly extensive blog on this which unfortunately didn’t see the light of day), to distinguish Dai from fiat-backed stablecoins and algorithmic currencies (which have tended not to work too well anyway - a good reason not to go there).

Aside from grabbing the thesaurus (stablecoin, levelcoin, inertcoin, snoozecoin, etc) and describing what Dai does, another approach is looking at what it’s for. E.g. calling it a “payment currency”, “payment asset”, “transactional asset” etc, because it serves money’s purposes of being a means of exchange and unit of account.

I’d want to describe it as something like a “decentralized/trustless, collateralized payment asset”, or just “trustless payment asset” perhaps.

Someone still needs to come up with something as pithy as “stablecoin” though.




“Tracker” or “tracker asset” might be a useful term, to make the point that it’s not pegged to the US Dollar or backed by dollars. Like an index fund tracker ETF, you know what it does but also that it’s not a 100% match to the tracked asset.

E.g. Dai is a decentralized USD tracker asset.

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what about PTSDcoin ?

Permissionless-Trustless-Stable-Decentralised Coin

it would work well also in ~6 months, with many people searching for cures to PTSD symptoms caused by the bear market. :stuck_out_tongue:


While we’re throwing ideas around, “asset tracker”, “value-tracking asset” (“USD-tracking asset”), “stable asset”, “value-matching asset”, “mirror asset”, “mirror”.

Asset tracker seems likely to attract the attention of securities regulators.

Maybe FixedCoin?