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May 18, 2022
Terra Proposes Token Burn and Increase in Pool Size to Stop UST Dilution
Terra believes that decreasing the amount of UST in circulation, while increasing the amount of available LUNA, is the easiest way to return the UST to a peg.

Sam Reynolds

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Terra believes that the downwards pressure on UST’s peg is diluting Luna, impeding recovery for both while creating an excess of UST, and the way to solve this is through burning UST and increasing the available pool of Luna.

“The primary obstacle is expelling the bad debt from UST circulation at a clip fast enough for the system to restore the health of on-chain spreads,” said Terra in a Tweet.

Algorithmic stablecoins like UST are supposed to be automatically pegged to the price of another currency. As explained in a prior CoinDesk learn article, traders can swap LUNA for UST at $1 regardless of the market price because the algorithms in the backend will manage the supply of LUNA creating enough scarcity to justify the $1.

A token burn refers to taking crypto out of circulation on the blockchain. It can be thought of as a deflationary event, because it would increase the value of the remaining blockchain. For token holders, it would be a similar event to a share buyback.

In a proposal put forward to token holders, Terra said that it wants to burn the nearly 1 billion UST (roughly $690 million) in the community pool while increasing the Base Pool of LUNA available to 100 million which in turn increases minting capacity to over $1 billion. This will help expedite the outflows of UST from the system, and thus pushing it back closer to its peg, while pushing down the price of Luna.

“Currently, the burning of UST is too slow to keep pace with the demand for excess UST to exit the system, which is hindered by the BasePool size,” reads the proposal. “Eliminating a significant chunk of the excess UST supply at once will alleviate much of the peg pressure on UST.”

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Some comments on the proposal asked if this happened because of a bug in Terra’s coding, or if it was also a product of a broader market downturn driven by the decline in bitcoin’s price.

Validators of the network are able to vote for this proposal. According to a vote tracker, the Yes side has received 50.47% of the vote while the abstain side has 49.1%. 87.8% of eligible voters have already cast a ballot, and the pass threshold is 50%.

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