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 pegged 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.
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. 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. The token has become popular for trading across major exchanges due to its ease of use and wide acceptance. Users can also conveniently move their holdings between their Web3 wallets and exchanges.
Tether can also be used to gain some level of exposure to the US dollar. 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 percent 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 more.
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. 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.
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 controls the minting and burning of USDT tokens. When there is demand for USDT, Tether mints new tokens; when USDT is sold, the corresponding number of tokens is burned.
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. 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 who 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 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).
Brock 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 non-profit organization called Bitcoin Foundation, created to improve and promote Bitcoin.
Reeve Collins is also a serial entrepreneur who 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.
Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to have a fixed price by having their value pegged to some cryptocurrency, commodity, fiat currency, or financial instrument or by utilizing an arbitrage system.
USDT is a stablecoin 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, always DYOR before making any financial decisions.
To view the estimated real-time conversion prices between fiat currencies, such as the USD, EUR, GBP, and others, into USDT, visit the OKX Crypto Converter Calculator. OKX's high-liquidity crypto exchange ensures the best prices for your crypto purchases.
Another option to buy USDT tokens is through the OKX P2P Trading marketplace. P2P trading allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from other users without needing a middleman.