First launched in 2014 Tether (USDT), the idea was to make government monies more compatible with newer crypto assets, which traded 24/7 on an active global market. We needed stability. In the crypto world, where the big dog (Bitcoin) can rise and fall by 20% in a single day — we need a stable, safe haven.
Enter Tether (USDT)……
Each USDT token is redeemable for a corresponding U.S. dollar held under custody by Tether Limited. The total value of all USDT is said to be equal to the reserves held by the firm.
Once a USDT is newly minted and issued, it can be transferred, stored and spent by a variety of businesses (exchanges, wallets, financial services) and individual traders looking to avoid the sometimes extreme volatility of the cryptocurrency markets.
Today, stablecoins are an emerging class of crypto assets that are beginning to find use cases beyond the world of trading, including in sectors like traditional cross-border payments.
As of 2020, USDT remains the largest and most widely used stablecoin.
However, the concept has been embraced by the world’s largest companies. For example, Facebook announced in 2019 that it was seeking to launch its own stablecoin, named Libra.
Tether Limited accepts fiat deposits and withdrawals on behalf of clients, and is responsible for minting and destroying Tether tokens in accordance with reserves they administer.
Tether on Bitcoin
Tether was originally launched and issued on the Bitcoin blockchain via the Omni Layer protocol, a platform used for creating and trading digital assets on top of Bitcoin.
This technology enables the minting and burning of Tether tokens based on the amount under custody. The circulation of Tethers can also be tracked and reported via the protocol.
Tether’s ledger is stored on the Bitcoin blockchain thanks to Omni, and the Omni Explorer allows users to view their verified transactions there. As of 2020, Tethers are also available as assets on Liquid, a Bitcoin sidechain.
Tether on Other Blockchains
To date, the largest market for USDT is on Ethereum.