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Understanding Stablecoin Technology and Related Security Considerations



Peter Mell, Dylan Yaga


Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies whose price is pegged to that of another asset (typically one with low price volatility). The market for stablecoins has grown tremendously – up to almost $200 billion USD in 2022. These coins are being used extensively in newly developing paradigms for digital money and commerce as well as for decentralized finance technology. This work provides a technical description of stablecoin technology to enable reader understanding of the variety of ways in which stablecoins are architected and implemented. This includes a descriptive definition, commonly found properties, and distinguishing characteristics, as well as an exploration of stablecoin taxonomies, descriptions of the most common types, and examples from a list of top stablecoins by market capitalization. This document also explores related security, safety, and trust issues with an analysis conducted from a computer science and information technology security perspective as opposed to the financial analysis and economics focus of much of the stablecoin literature.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8408
Report Number


blockchain, cryptocurrency, decentralized finance, security, smart contract, stablecoin


Mell, P. and Yaga, D. (2023), Understanding Stablecoin Technology and Related Security Considerations, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created September 5, 2023