Synthetic assets in traditional finance allude to assets, be it individual or bundled, intended to mirror or simulate what underlies them. They commonly combine derivative products which reflect the intrinsic assets such as stocks, currencies etc. This creates multiple investment instruments that can be applied to a singular asset. Without requiring the physical asset to settle trades, the market cap for these is staggering; estimated to be in excess of one quadrillion USD. For perspective, it exceeds the market cap of gold by a factor of more than 150 and is roughly four to five times the value of the global real estate and stock markets combined.
The application of cryptocurrency synthetic assets gives the market place a breadth and depth that is heretofore unseen. With crypto synthetics, people can gain exposure to commodities like gold or fiat currencies without having to hold the asset. Price-elastic tokens as synthetic assets can potentially offer exposure to literally anything the price is pegged to. While they are similar to stablecoins in that they have predefined price targets, there are differences. Elastic tokens have governed supplies while rebases create a sort of synthetic commodity where values fluctuate to represent growth or decline.