The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is looking for public feedback on a draft report on stablecoin technologies and related security concerns in an effort to better understand the digital assets industry.
Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency that aim to maintain a stable price relative to a specified asset, such as the U.S. dollar or gold. While the economic implications of stablecoins are often written about, NIST’s draft report aims to discuss some of the vital underlying aspects of the currency: “the technical mechanisms and architectures used and related security considerations.”
“While some discussion of economic aspects is unavoidable (given that stablecoins are used as a form of currency), this work focuses on the technology issues,” NIST wrote. The draft report “offers a technical description of stablecoin technology to enable reader understanding of the variety of ways in which stablecoins are architected and implemented. It then uses that technical foundation to explore related security, safety, and trust issues,” the agency said.
In the report, NIST discusses hypothetical security issues that could impact stablecoins, such as attackers exploiting the underlying blockchain technology or finding a vulnerability in the smart contract code.
NIST noted that these are “not necessarily currently existing security issues,” but said it wants to examine how they could potentially affect the system.
The agency also stressed that while “regulations have not caught up with the development of cryptocurrencies or stablecoins,” NIST is a non-regulatory government agency, and its draft report excludes that topic.
NIST invites the public to submit comments on the report by Jan. 6, 2023, by emailing them to NISTIR8408@nist.gov.