Since May, the cryptocurrency market has felt the pressure of the massive sell-off, which was aroused by a mixture of Elon Musk’s Twitter shenanigans and the Chinese government’s call for industry-wide regulations.
The market has yet to recover from this year’s bloodiest dips, which saw bigwigs like Ethereum plummet by over 50% of its all-time high from mid-April—just two months ago.
Meanwhile, as meme coins and newer altcoins made waves after investor interest poured into not-so-serious blockchain projects, their fall from glory has just been recorded in the latest chapter of the crypto sell-off series. This time, the IRON Titanium Token (TITAN), an asset that’s backed by billionaire and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban, has just fallen from the moon—all the way to dust at $0.
What You Need to Know About The Complex IRON Titanium Token Ecosystem
While much of the market has not heard of TITAN, Mark Cuban had previously spoken about it in his blog—particularly for its value in the context of a liquidity provider. The IRON Titanium Token’s ecosystem is complicated, as TITAN only forms one facet of an overarching project to build a stablecoin.
To put it simply, TITAN is a share coin that the Iron.Finance team leveraged to finance a separate cryptocurrency project: the development of IRON, a partially collateralised stablecoin backed by TITAN and Coinbase’s own stablecoin, USDC. The project was built on Polygon and the Binance Smartchain, creating an ecosystem that utilises many already-existing platforms rather than an entirely new network.
But why was TITAN going up in value when its primary purpose was to support IRON’s growth? It all has to do with the complex tokenomics of two coins symbiotically benefitting from each other. Investors can mint new IRON through the Iron.
Finance’s system, which locks up 75% USDC and 25% TITAN. In that regard, whenever a new IRON is minted, the demand for TITAN increases—partly because several coins are placed in the pool to represent the newly-minted IRON—followed by a dramatic rise in value. Likewise, when either IRON or TITAN falls, the other follows suit.
As a result, unlike traditional stable and anchored coins, like The People’s Reserve (TPR), which retain a consistent value over time, TITAN and IRON are prone to constant fluctuations, subsequently making them just as risky as Bitcoin and non-stable altcoins.
The Panic-Selling Frenzy
TITAN began growing immensely in value in mid-June, when it bloated by over seven times its price at the start of the month. By the 16th, the coin spiked to an all-time high of $64 before dropping to $60 three hours later.
That small adjustment was enough to flick a switch in investors’ minds, causing a panic-selling frenzy that caused prices to flatline at $0 by the 18th.
The cryptocurrency market has always been known to be a volatile wilderness where nobody can predict what will happen within a few seconds—but never has there been an incident as harrowing as a coin losing all its value within two days of a colossal all-time high. TITAN has just made history—and not for favourable reasons.
This situation is commonly known as a bank run, wherein investors traditionally withdraw all their funds upon believing that a bank will stop operating. Similarly, a “bank run” occurred on the IRON Titanium Token’s network, when investors feared the worst after a $4 decline in value.
Mark Cuban has openly shared his ownership of TITAN, but a recent tweet assured his followers that he managed to escape just in time.
Arbitrage Trading Opportunity
Following the chaotic liquidation of TITAN tokens, IRON’s stablecoin algorithm was triggered to stabilise the latter’s value. While the non-stable TITAN is susceptible to the market’s volatility, it’s pertinent for stablecoins to retain a constant value equal to their pegged asset—in this case, it’s $1.
However, rather than solving the issue, the algorithm only created a discrepancy between the value of TITAN and IRON, which are supposed to symbiotically co-exist to maintain stability. Furthermore, the discrepancy caused an arbitrage trading opportunity—a phenomenon wherein swapping or trading a cryptocurrency pair results in profit rather than even gains.
IRON has since fallen off the $1 mark, dropping to as low as $0.69 and currently sitting at a value of $0.77. The entire network has suffered massive losses. On Polygon, Iron Finance dropped from a $2 billion total value locked on Polygon to just over $12 million.
Amid the entire ordeal, what stings investors the most is that there were no hacks or exploits involved in the situation—it was all caused by a spiral of uncertainty, speculation at work, and emotions getting in the way of logical trading decisions.
The situation is a stark reminder of the market’s volatility and how cryptocurrency remains an extremely high-risk investment opportunity that’s certainly not for the faint of heart.