TerraForm Labs spent four years building its ecosystem and connecting it to other blockchains before things began to unravel earlier this month.
When the TerraUSD algorithmic stablecoin (UST) lost its peg, millions of dollars were wiped out in a matter of days. The coin, which used to carry a redeemable-for-a-dollar guarantee, has been trading for just a nickel. And LUNA, its governance token, which last month had a market cap of more than $30 billion, has seen that metric slip to $680 million.
The company behind it all got its start in 2018.
Business partners Do Kwon and Daniel Shin founded Terraform Labs in January, and that April registered it as a private limited share company in Singapore.
By August, Terraform had completed a $32 million raise that included Translink Capital, Polychain Capital, FBG Capital, Hashed, 1kx, Kenetic Capital, and Arrington XRP. Four of the largest crypto exchanges—Binance, OKEx, Huobi Capital, and Dunamu—invested in Terra’s Layer-0 blockchain as well.
From the onset, Terra wanted to become a payments giant that could rival the likes of Alipay and PayPal. Shin, the founder of Korean e-commerce giant TMON, would later help bring more than 20 other companies to the table to form the Terra Alliance and adopt its payment system.
At the start of 2019, Terra raised $62 million with an initial coin offering (ICO) for its LUNA governance token, at $0.80 per LUNA. The team said it would be part of a “dual-token system, which is composed of Terra—the stablecoin—and Luna, the collateral token.”