What is a Hard Peg?

A hard peg is a fixed exchange rate system, where the value of one currency is directly linked to the value of another. This means that for every unit of one currency, there must be an equivalent amount of the other currency available in reserve. A central bank or government usually manages a hard peg by buying and selling its domestic currency on foreign exchange markets in order to maintain its predetermined exchange rate.

The primary benefit of a hard peg is allowing greater economic stability for countries and their citizens. With the value of money being linked to another country’s currency, it helps mitigate against changes in price due to fluctuations in demand and supply. Hard pegs also give investors more confidence, which can contribute to increased investment from overseas sources.

However, hard pegs also have their drawbacks. For example, it limits a government’s ability to engage in independent monetary policy decisions, such as setting interest rates or controlling inflation. Additionally, if the currency is pegged to start fluctuating too much – for instance, due to economic issues in that country – then this could cause significant problems for the other economy by creating major imbalances in its own exchange rate.

Ultimately, a hard peg is only sustainable if both countries involved are able to manage their own domestic economies well and keep their currencies stable over time. Otherwise, the pegged exchange rate can become unsustainable and lead to a devaluation of the currency, ultimately impacting citizens with higher prices.

Simplified Example

A hard peg in cryptocurrency is like having a card with a fixed exchange rate. Imagine you have a card that can be traded with other cards, and the card has a specific value in terms of other cards. This value is called the exchange rate. Now, imagine that the value of your card is always fixed to another card. No matter what other cards you trade with, the value of your card will always be equal to one card.

In cryptocurrency, a hard peg refers to a fixed exchange rate between a cryptocurrency and another currency, such as the US dollar. This means that the value of the cryptocurrency will always be equal to a specific amount of the other currency, no matter what happens in the market. For example, if a cryptocurrency has a hard peg to the US dollar, its value will always be equal to one US dollar, even if the market value of the cryptocurrency changes.

History of the Term "Hard Peg"

While the precise origin of the term "hard peg" remains uncertain, it is believed to have emerged in the early 20th century, coinciding with the development of fixed exchange rate regimes. The term likely gained prominence during the Bretton Woods system, an era that established a global currency arrangement grounded in a gold standard and a fixed exchange rate system.


Tether (USDT): Tether is a cryptocurrency that is pegged to the US dollar at a 1:1 ratio. This means that each Tether token is always worth the same as one US dollar, regardless of changes in the market value of Tether or other cryptocurrencies. Tether is often used as a stablecoin, providing a stable store of value for people who want to avoid the volatility of other cryptocurrencies.

Dai (DAI): Dai is a decentralized stablecoin that is pegged to the US dollar. Unlike Tether, which is backed by a central authority, Dai is backed by a decentralized network of lenders who provide collateral to support the value of the currency. Dai is designed to be a stable store of value, and its value is always maintained at or near the value of one US dollar.

USDC: USDC is a stablecoin that is pegged to the US dollar at a 1:1 ratio. Like Tether and Dai, USDC is designed to provide a stable store of value for people who want to avoid the volatility of other cryptocurrencies. USDC is backed by a centralized network of financial institutions and is designed to be a secure and transparent alternative to other stablecoins.

  • Exchange: The platform for trading cryptocurrency, allowing users to buy and sell different digital assets.

  • Peg: A fixed exchange rate between two currencies, where one currency is fixed to the value of another currency or a basket of currencies.