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TerraUSD (UST) Collapse: Victims Share Heartbreaking Stories of Losses

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • Investors whose lives were ruined by the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin have started speaking about their experiences.
  • While some investors may have been rash with their financing, others reported using savings accumulated over many years.
  • Most have reported an increased amount of stress in their life since the incident, both personally and between other co-investors, often family members.
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The collapse of TerraUSD (UST) earlier this year ruined the lives of many investors, several of whom have taken to telling their stories.

Earlier this year, the algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD lost its peg, which shortly thereafter led to its collapse and that of the associated Anchor protocol and LUNA cryptocurrency.

Those who lost nearly the entirety of their investment run the gamut from young to old, from a recent graduate to a 69-year-old pensioner. Most, however, were found to be men in their late-30s, often married with young children. 

Cancer patient lost $50,000

Some worked for years to save up for the money they invested, including the pensioner. “I worked about 20 years doing an 80 hour per week job, which led to a lot of sacrifices, responsibility and stress,” he said. 

Meanwhile, others unintentionally squandered their inheritances. “My grandfather and grandmother passed away back to back within a short time frame… they left me 50k which my dad moved over in increments between this year and last year,” one victim said. “My grandfather’s gift, nearly completed, [sic] gone.”

Others even went into debt to finance their investment. “I had finally paid off my home after years and years of hard work, then only refinanced the house to get this loan to put into UST and Anchor because it was marketed as a stablecoin.” 

In addition to the refinancer, others may have acted somewhat rashly in terms of financing their investment. One victim, purported to be an “advanced malignant tumor patient,” who lost his job due to his condition, received $50,000 in insurance, which he promptly put into the Anchor protocol and UST savings.

Even the prudent were caught out

However, the incident also affected several others, who were reportedly financially prudent their whole lives until this point.

For instance, one Australian couple, who had been working for years to put money down on a house were taken in. According to the husband, “the marketing made them sound no-risk and safe, so as someone struggling to save for a house, I was enticed by the 20% interest.”

Indeed, many had reported feeling confident about the prospects of the investment, due to the robust funding and support the project had seen from the likes of “renowned venture capital firms such as Pantera, Polychain Capital, Delphi Digital, Binance and Coinbase.”

Pensioner contemplates suicide over TerraUSD losses

Upon hearing of the depegging, many had considered cashing out, which likely would have led to substantially smaller losses. However, a tweet from Do Kwan, Terra’s CEO, reassuring investors of the stablecoin’s reserves convinced many to hold, despite the statement proving false, and the ultimate collapse of the stablecoin.

Almost all have reported an intense stress, both personal and between family members, since the stablecoin’s collapse and feel despondent at the prospect of continuing. “My last 20 years of hard work was just a waste,” the 69-year-old investor lamented. “The pain burns my heart, suicide crossed my mind already.”

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Nicholas Pongratz
Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage.