Tether (USDT) is the world's first and most widely used stablecoin and the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. USDT is an Ethereum-based, asset-backed, stablecoin primarily pegged and backed to the US dollar. Hence, Tether's value remains consistently close to 1 USD.
Initially called Realcoin, Tether was launched in 2014 by Reeve Collins, Craig Sellars, and Brock Pierce. USDT tokens are issued by Tether Limited, a company controlled by Bitfinex, and can be redeemed at any time for an equivalent amount.
Tether was initially built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, but its network has now been expanded to run on over ten different blockchain protocols, including Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX), and Solana (SOL).
Tether was also launched on the Omni layer, a platform for creating and trading assets on the Bitcoin network. However, despite originating from the Bitcoin network, Tether is most commonly used on Ethereum.
USDT, being a cryptocurrency, can be minted or destroyed by its issuing company Tether Limited, and more importantly, be quickly and cheaply transferred to individuals over any supporting blockchain network.
For example, whenever new USDT tokens are issued, Tether allocates the corresponding USD amount to its reserves, thus ensuring that USDT remains fully backed by cash and cash equivalents.
USDT has proven to be a stable currency. Compared to regular fiat currencies, Tether converts fiat US dollars into stablecoins and expedites transactions to other cryptocurrencies.
Additionally, USDT has become a popular trading pair across major exchanges due to its ease of use and wide acceptance. Users can also conveniently move their USD holdings between their Web3 wallets and exchanges.
Tether can also be used to gain some level of exposure to the US dollar by individuals needing access to actual US dollars. Tether Limited publishes a daily report on the value of its reserves and has quarterly assurance opinions issued by independent accountants.
In an updated statement, Tether revealed that USDT tokens are no longer backed entirely by US dollar deposits. Instead, Tether is 100% backed by reserves, including traditional currency, cash equivalents, short-term deposits, commercial papers, US treasury bills, corporate bonds, secured loans, precious metals, corporate funds, and multiple other investments.
In January 2021, Tether limited minted a record 2 billion USDT tokens in a single week. This came during tremendous growth in the crypto markets, shortly after a record of 1.5 billion tokens was set.
The growing interest in USDT was pegged to several reasons, including an increasing lack of trust in traditional financial institutions and currencies and rising institutional interest in cryptocurrencies.
In November 2021, USDT launched on the Avalanche platform. Avalanche, launched in 2020, is one of the blockchain industry's fastest and cheapest-to-use smart contracts platforms. The Avalanche-native USDT was first supported by Bitfinex and was said to offer cheaper and quicker USDT transactions.
In April 2022, USDT support was added for the blockchain network Kusama making Kusama the tenth network to support the asset-backed stablecoin. This represented a milestone for Kusama and an especially significant one for USDT.
Kusama is a decentralized network of specialized, parallel blockchains closely related to the much more extensive Polkadot network and is often referred to as Polkadot's Canary network. Polkadot itself is set to join the list of blockchains that support USDT.
In May 2022, USDT was launched on the Polygon network. Polygon is an Ethereum scaling solution, also known as a sidechain or layer-2 network, known for charging significantly lower transaction fees and being faster than its main network, Ethereum.
At the time, Polygon had processed over $1.6 billion in transactions, had over $5 billion in locked value, and had more than 19,000 decentralized apps (DApps) running on it. Polygon is the 11th blockchain network that USDT was launched on.
Tether Limited Inc. accepts investor deposits and stores them in its reserve, minting new USDT tokens of equivalent value and issuing them to the depositors in return. The tokens are destroyed whenever a USDT holder redeems their tokens for US Dollars. Tether Limited controls the minting and burning of USDT tokens.
There are about 69.36 billion USDT in circulation, and USDT has a total supply of 69.1 billion. Some USDT tokens are held in reserve by Tether Limited, explaining the gap between the number of tokens in circulation and the number in existence.
USDT has no supply cap, so any number of USDT tokens can be created by Tether Limited, given that there is sufficient collateral to back them. Ordinarily, minting new tokens does not erode the value of existing tokens. Likewise, burning USDT tokens does not increase token value.
Tether was founded in 2014 by a group of early crypto adopters and Bitcoin enthusiasts passionate about digitizing fiat currencies. Its origins lie in the Mastercoin protocol, based on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Brock Pierce was one of the original members of the Mastercoin Foundation that helped develop and promote Mastercoin. Pierce, Craig Sellars, and Reeve Collins co-founded Tether in 2014, with Mastercoin protocol as its technological foundation.
Tether's precursor, "Realcoin," was announced in July 2014, and the first tokens were issued in October 2014. The project was renamed Tether later in November of that year, alongside an announcement of entering the private beta phase, with three currencies: USTether (for USD), EuroTether (for EUR), and YenTether (for JPY).
Block Pierce is a widely known entrepreneur and co-founder of multiple high-profile entertainment and crypto projects, including Blockchain Capital and Block.one, the company that created the EOS blockchain. He also served as Director of a nonprofit organization called Bitcoin Foundation, created to improve and promote Bitcoin.
Reeve Collins is also a serial entrepreneur who, when he co-founded Tether, had already co-founded successful companies like Traffic Marketplace, RedLever, and Pala Interactive. On the other hand, Craig Sellars has been an active member of the Omni Foundation and associated with multiple organizations, including Bitfinex, Synereo, MaidSafe Foundation, and Factom.
USDT is a stablecoin that is pegged to the value of the US dollar. It was launched in 2014 to facilitate the transfer of fiat currencies on the blockchain. USDT is also the largest stablecoin after USD Coin (USDC).
Tether is issued by Tether Limited, a company based in Hong Kong, and operates on blockchain networks, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tron. Each USDT token represents one US dollar held in reserve by Tether Limited.
USDT provides a stable and secure way to store and transfer value on the blockchain. As a stablecoin, its value is pegged to the US dollar, which makes it less volatile than other cryptocurrencies.
This stability makes it a popular choice for traders who want to minimize their exposure to cryptocurrency market fluctuations.
Another good reason to buy Tether is its wide acceptance among cryptocurrency exchanges, which makes it a convenient way to move funds between different trading platforms.
However, like most digital assets, cryptocurrency is deemed high-risk and prone to sharp price changes and volatility. Therefore, we ask that you only buy what you are willing to lose.
One option is to buy from reputable cryptocurrency exchanges such as OKX. To buy using a credit or debit card, users can select the "Buy with card" option from the "Buy crypto" header menu.
Users can also gain USDT tokens from the various trading pairs offerings in the OKX Spot trading terminal. Additionally, users can swap their existing cryptocurrencies for USDT with zero fees and no price slippage by using OKX Convert.
Lastly, users can purchase USDT tokens on the OKX P2P Trading platform. P2P trading allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from other users without needing a middleman.
With OKX, you can easily use USDT to buy other crypto assets, including Bitcoin (BTC), Algorand (ALGO), XRP (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), using the Convert feature. OKX allows users to convert top crypto and stablecoins like USDT with zero fees and no slippage.
By using USDT to buy other cryptocurrencies, you can avoid the volatility of holding other digital currencies directly.
The OKX Crypto Converter Calculator provides a simple way for users to convert various fiat currencies, such as US Dollars (USD), Euro (EUR), and British Pound (GBP), to USDT and other cryptocurrencies.
This tool allows users to convert their fiat currency into any cryptocurrency they choose while providing up-to-date exchange rates. This information can help make an informed decision before proceeding with an exchange.
On OKX DeFi, there are several options for earning interest on USDT. Users can earn interest by staking USDT, providing liquidity to lending pools, or participating in decentralized exchanges.
To stake USDT, users can visit the Flash Deals section of OKX Earn and choose from the available staking plans that offer high-interest rates. These Flash Deals typically have a limited term of up to 7 days and are provided irregularly.
As they are available on a first-come, first-served basis, users should check the page frequently to subscribe to exciting deals before they run out.
Being a stablecoin, Tether's price is designed to be fixed at $1 and is, thus, unlikely to see any significant increase or decrease. However, the all-time high price of USDT reached $1.21 in 2017.
Likewise, USDT's price has fallen below $1 a few times. The all-time low was $0.572521, recorded on Mar 02, 2015. This usually occurs during high levels of uncertainty and fear in the markets. But, USDT has managed to regain momentum. Its stability and liquidity have made it a popular choice for traders.
Additionally, USDT's price is unlikely to stray far from $1 because as long there is positive market sentiment, the tokens can be redeemed for an equivalent amount of US dollars.
USDT is generally safe to buy and hold if you use reliable exchanges and follow basic security practices. For example, Tether Limited has a strong reputation in the cryptocurrency industry and has been audited by reputable accounting firms.
However, it's worth noting that stablecoins like USDT are not immune to risks like hacks or regulatory changes. Therefore, as with any cryptocurrency, it's essential to store your USDT in a secure wallet and to only buy from reputable sources.
USDT maintains its peg to the US dollar by holding an equivalent amount of US dollars in reserve. This means that for every USDT token issued, Tether Limited has a corresponding US dollar in reserve.
Furthermore, the company regularly publishes reports that provide transparency into its reserves and other financial information. Additionally, Tether Limited has stated that it has several mechanisms to maintain the peg, including issuing and redeeming USDT tokens based on market demand.
While USDT is designed to be pegged to the US dollar, some key differences exist between USDT and USD. USD is a physical fiat currency issued and backed by the US government, while USDT is a digital cryptocurrency a private company issues.
Additionally, while USD is subject to fluctuations in value based on a range of economic factors, USDT is designed to maintain a stable value equivalent to the US dollar.
Yes, USDT is subject to the same regulations as other cryptocurrencies, as it operates on the blockchain and is considered a digital asset. However, USDT is a stablecoin and may be subject to additional regulations depending on the jurisdiction.
Therefore, it's essential to understand the regulatory landscape in your jurisdiction before buying or holding USDT. Additionally, Tether Limited has stated that it is committed to complying with all applicable regulations and has taken steps to ensure its operations are transparent and auditable.
The max supply of USDT is not fixed but is theoretically unlimited. USDT is a stablecoin designed to maintain a 1:1 peg to the US dollar, and Tether Limited, the company behind USDT, manages the supply of USDT.
Tether Limited initially issued 10 million USDT, but the supply has grown significantly to meet the increasing demand for USDT.
Unlike Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies, USDT is not subject to halving events or other supply constraints that can limit the growth of the coin's supply.