Today, on October 6, Tether (USDT) celebrates its 9th birthday. Launched in 2014 by Tether Limited, it has come a long way to become the most capitalised stablecoin on the crypto market. Currently, Tether’s capitalisation stands at $83 million, being only behind such giants as Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC).
The value of USDT is pegged to the US dollar in a ratio of 1:1. Thus, USDT always equals the value of the US dollar.
Stablecoins are the cryptocurrency that is least subject to market fluctuations. Algorithms and users themselves can be responsible for stability, as well as the peg to real assets (for example, dollars or gold). This smoothes out jumps in supply and demand, just like in the case of Tether. Learn more about what stablecoins are and how they work.
In 2012, the programmer J.R. Willett discovered a way to create new assets based on Bitcoin. His technology underwent testing for a year. By July 2013, the cryptocurrency Mastercoin was launched. Later, to promote this protocol, an organisation with the same name was established, later renamed to Omni Foundation.
In 2014, the project leaders, Brock Pierce and Craig Sellars, joined forces with entrepreneur Reeve Collins. Together, they launched the startup Realcoin. In the same year, a cryptocurrency Realcoin was released. It was developed on the Bitcoin blockchain using the Omni Layer protocol.
On November 20, 2014, the CEO of Realcoin, Reeve Collins, announced the rebranding of the project as Tether. By doing so, the project's creators aimed to avoid association with altcoins.
Tether’s market performance
According to CoinGecko, Tether is the third most capitalised cryptocurrency in the market. Now, its market cap is worth $83 million, with trading volumes surpassing $18 million in the last 24 hours.
USDT remained stable even during the crypto winter. At the beginning of 2023, it ranged from $0.9986 to $1.0007.
Nevertheless, Tether experienced two short-term drops throughout its existence:
📉 In May, 2022, its price fell to $0,9959, when Terra collapsed and its stablecoin dripped to $0;
📉 In November, 2022, USDT’s value stood at $0,9978, when the FTX crypto exchange went bankrupt.
As of today, October 6, 2023, USDT’s price is $1.00.
How Tether actually operates
USDT operates without its dedicated blockchain; instead, it relies on existing cryptocurrency platforms. Initially, the coin was established on the Omni Layer platform, which functions as a software layer on the Bitcoin network.
Presently, various standards of USDT exist, each corresponding to a different blockchain. The most popular Tether standards are ERC-20 (Ethereum), TRC-20 (Tron), BEP-20 (Binance chain).
Tether's supply is not constrained. New USDT tokens are generated with each purchase. When a user wants to redeem their cryptocurrency, they receive an equivalent amount in US dollars. Any unclaimed tokens are subject to burning.
USDT is a centralised stablecoin, therefore, all reserves are managed by the head company Tether Limited.
Bonus: 5 interesting facts about USDT
🥇 USDT is the first stablecoin. Tether is claimed to be the first and best of its kind.
💰 USDT has the largest market cap among stablecoins. USDT’s market cap has grown significantly over the last years, reflecting its mass adoption in the crypto community.
😎 USDT is used in decentralised finance (DeFi). Many decentralised exchanges and DeFi applications rely on Tether to provide users with stability in keeping their funds. For instance, Aave, Compound, and MakerDAO have integrated USDT to offer their clients liquidity within their ecosystems.
🏆 Tether offers a unique feature called Tether Gold (XAUt). It is another stablecoin, which is backed not by the US dollar but by real physical gold. Such assets are stored in a Swiss vault.
Tether is making its way into traditional finance. Many institutions actually accept deposits and integrate USDT in their services. Some crypto exchanges even allow to trade the coin alongside fiat currencies.
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