Terra is a crypto project ecosystem with two overarching branches: a stablecoin system (the Terra protocol) and a native blockchain (the Terra blockchain). Its native coin, LUNA, has multiple roles in the ecosystem, such as usage in line with Terra ecosystem governance. The project’s Terra Station exists for several purposes, including as a wallet and an on-ramp to staking.
The Terra protocoly
The Terra protocol is essentially a system of algorithmic stablecoins running on the Terra blockchain, used in tandem with its native LUNA coin to keep a peg with fiat currencies, such as the U.S. dollar.
The stablecoins are referred to in general as Terra, although multiple different stablecoins exist under this umbrella, such as TerraUSD (UST) — a U.S. dollar (USD)-pegged stablecoin. These stablecoins form one pool, while another pool includes LUNA, which has a fluctuating price.
Broadly speaking, the stablecoins are kept in line with their underlying fiat values via arbitrage between the two pools. A stablecoin is minted or burned in tandem with minting or burning LUNA, depending on in which direction that stablecoin varies from its intended fiat price, with market arbitrageurs profiting on the differences if/when they occur.
The Terra blockchain
The Cosmos SDK and Tendermint technologies were used in the development of the Terra blockchain. Validators staking LUNA secure the Terra blockchain, which uses a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. LUNA owners can also delegate their LUNA to a single validator or multiple validators and share in rewards. Validators and delegators can vote on Terra ecosystem changes.
The Terra blockchain is composed of 130 validators that work together to actively run the network. These are the 130 largest LUNA stakers, factoring in the amount of LUNA staked by the entity overseeing the validator and the amount of LUNA delegated to that validator. Bad conduct by a validator results in slashing — a penalty paid in LUNA, taken from some of the validator’s staked and delegated LUNA — and a timeout from working as part of the core 130 validators that run the network.
Developers can also build decentralized applications (DApps) on the Terra blockchain.
LUNA coin price
The Terra/LUNA crypto project ecosystem has Terra — stablecoins intended to be priced similarly to fiat currencies — and LUNA, the Terra ecosystem’s main asset. Terra prices are meant to remain stable, so Terra prices today should not differ too much from yesterday, if everything functions as intended. The LUNA crypto asset, on the other hand, has notably more price volatility, as seen in the LUNA chart above. The price at the top of the page shows the value of LUNA to USD live.