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What is Tether (USDT)?
The blockchain-based cryptocurrency Tether is something of a trail-blazer in the financial space, as it was one of the earliest fiat-collateralized stablecoins to be circulated globally.
This description means that Tether (USDT) is pegged to the greenback's value, with the asset initially corresponding on a 1:1 basis with US dollars sitting in bank accounts throughout the world. While it has evolved slightly over time to be backed fully by US currency reserves rather than dollar deposits, its price has continued to hover around the $1 mark through 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.
In this respect, Tether was partially created to reduce the crypto market's inherent volatility and mitigate real-time price risk while maintaining the unique advantage of transacting with other blockchain-based assets. This was the central premise behind Tether when it launched in July 2014, as founders Reeve Collins, Brock Pierce, and Craig Sellars built upon J.R. Willet's 'Mastercoin' protocol, a new and stabilized currency on top of Bitcoin's existing foundation.
Initially referred to as 'Realcoin' following its launch, the name was officially changed to Tether before the first USDT tokens being released on October 6th, 2014. Since this time, the coin has realized part of its premise by adhering closely to a single USD value, ranging from a low of $0.958938 in November 2018 to a peak of $1.02 in December the following year.
Interestingly, Tether was also created to respond to the relative lack of convertibility between fiat and cryptocurrencies, with exchanges considered to be the primary users of USDT since the token's inception. To this end, USDT tokens are primarily issued on both Ethereum and Bitcoin networks. Tether coins are represented as ERC-20 tokens on the former, for example, while utilizing the Omni-layer to ensure compatibility on Bitcoin. Tether has also aimed to drive greater transparency, although it has continued to achieve mixed results in this respect.
While its developers stated their intention to hold all US dollars in reserve to meet customer demand, it fell short of achieving this objective in 2017. It has also historically failed to deliver on its promise to make reserve account holdings transparent via the process of external audit, with this news causing USDT to reach its historic low price on November 24th, 2018.
What is Tether (USDT) Wallet?
Given that Tether was partially created to bridge the once seismic gap between fiat and cryptocurrencies, it boasts significant compatibility with several different wallets and blockchains. More specifically, you can transfer and store USDT tokens with any wallet that supports the so-called 'Omni Layer,' representing an additional software dimension built on top of the trail-blazing Bitcoin blockchain.
Omni USDT is based directly on the BTC blockchain, with each associated transaction usually accompanied by a nominal transfer of 0.00000546 to confirm identities and prevent dust attacks.
Interestingly, it's thought that up to 80% of all Bitcoin trading is transacted in Tether, with the stablecoin providing a significant source of liquidity within the crypto marketplace. Similarly, Tether is one of the numerous assets classed as an ERC-20 token. This means that it meets a series of predetermined standards as a fungible and interchangeable token compatible with the broader Ethereum network. As a result, it's easy to manage and exchange USDT with similarly compatible assets through an Ethereum wallet, with ERC-20 classification helping to standardize each coin's core functionality and interoperability.
USDT tokens are also based and available for trading on the Binance (BNB) network. So, you need to buy USDT tokens by wiring your USD balance to their respective platforms before transferring your coins and making them available for exchange with a diverse range of assets.
Tether utilizes several blockchains to host the circulating supply on USDT, enabling users to bypass congestion and reduce transaction speeds in a specific chain. To this end, it also swaps and relocates USDT tokens from one blockchain to another, in some instances, keeping the number of coins in circulation the same in the process.
This happened recently, with Tether shifting $300 million USDT from the Tron (TRX) blockchain to the Ethereum alternative. While the reasons for this remain unclear, it's essential to remain informed at all times and select a compatible wallet that's suitable for managing USDT tokens.
Remember, there remains a large number of viable wallets on offer, and it's now time to consider what features make Atomic Wallet stand out from many of the alternatives.
Tether (USDT) Wallet Features
While you may choose to keep at least some of your USDT holding on live exchanges, it's wise to store some of your tokens in a secure and accessible wallet. Atomic Wallet comes into play, as this currently supports more than 500 various crypto assets. This includes Tether, which can be bought, exchanged, and managed on the Atomic platform, alongside any other tokens you may have in your portfolio.
Atomic Wallet also continues to seek new tokens and crypto assets to add to its platform, so you can continue to build out your portfolio while retaining your USDT holdings over time.
While you can't currently stake USDT tokens on Atomic Wallet (this may also change at some point in the future), you can still earn rewards and cash back by participating in the platform's unique membership scheme. We'll have a little more on this below. Still, the initiative revolves around Atomic Wallet's native AWC token and essentially enables you to swap this asset with BNB on Binance Dex before exchanging it with another supported token.
The available rewards will vary depending on your membership level and the value of your AWC holdings, with cash back awarded monthly. Atomic Wallet also fully supports Omni, Ethereum, and Tron blockchains, making it the ideal platform for seamlessly managing your USDT tokens and similar ERC-20 coins.
Atomic Wallet is also uniquely secure. While it's technically a 'cold' wallet (which means that it can be accessed without the need for a live Internet connection), it's also available through both desktop and mobile devices. The latter point is extremely important, as having the capacity to securely manage and exchange USDT tokens in real-time through a smartphone or tablet is a huge selling point in the digital age.
To this end, your private keys are stored directly on your designated devices as opposed to an online centralized exchange or server, which minimizes custody risks and the threat of your funds being hacked or manipulated by others.
Remember, your private key is an asymmetrical form of cryptography that enables you to access your wallet balance, accept funds, and authorize transactions. This is capable of decrypting and decoding transaction data in real-time, while it also generates a unique and immutable 'signature' to confirm each transaction.
When you register with Atomic Wallet, you won't need to formally verify your identity to use the most basic features or in-built exchange service. However, you will have to provide clear copies of your chosen photo ID (such as a passport or driver's license) to buy USDT or other crypto assets directly through the wallet. This is required as a simple way of negating the risk of fraud, while you'll need to commit to buying at least $50 of your preferred cryptocurrency to complete a transaction.
How to store USDT Safely?
Atomic Wallet takes considerable steps to safeguard your USDT balance by combining 128-bit SSL encryption with stringent verification checks where required and offering you the autonomy to store your private keys (and seed phrase) safely and remotely. As we've already said, the latter negates the need to store sensitive private keys on a centralized exchange, making it less susceptible to hacking and malevolent scammers.
Overall, Atomic Wallet also allows you to go above and beyond when securing your transactions as you look to create an additional layer of protection that safeguards your private key. For example, if you access your Atomic Wallet on a desktop computer and use the same device to store your private key, you may want to consider encrypting it in a password-protected folder. On a similar note, you could even safely store your private key on Google Drive by using the platform's encryption application. A single password can afford you access to every file stored within the encrypted folder, while all of the new additions are automatically encrypted in the same way. However, this would still leave your private key stored online, which may be something that you want to avoid as a security measure.
For those who are really security conscious, the best method to keep your private key safe is in an offline storage device. A USB drive offers a relevant case in point, as this is more than equipped to store a 256-bit private key and provides a degree of separation between your data and a live Internet connection.
Ideally, you should also avoid storing private keys or seed phrases on your mobile device, as this often lacks the capacity for further encryption and may be more prone to hackers' machinations.
What is a Stablecoin?
Tether was one of the first so-called 'stablecoins' to reach the crypto market, with the asset paving the way for similar tokens to be launched post-2014. In simple terms, a stablecoin represents a class of cryptocurrencies that attempts to offer price stability within the crypto space. To achieve this, they're typically backed by an established and stable reserve asset, with the USD offering the best example from the perspective of fiat currencies.
Beyond this, stablecoins can also be pegged to the price of predictable commodities such as gold, with this also providing a steady external value reference. This is vanishingly rare, however, with the greenback also supporting newer crypto assets, including Paxos Standard (PAX), TrueUSD (TUSD), and the USD Coin (USDC).
Interestingly, some of the newer crypto assets on the market have sought backing from established tokens such as Ethereum. This is the case with MakerDAO, which launched early in 2017 and moved away from the notion of pegging its DAI stablecoin to the US Dollar. This type of token is referred to as a crypto-collateralized stablecoin. At the same time, it highlights the fully decentralized nature of cryptocurrency and the growing status of Ether and similar coins as safe-haven assets.
Regardless of their precise composition or the asset, they're pegged to, the key thing to bear in mind is that stablecoins largely achieve their price stability through collateralization. This can also be achieved through the algorithmic mechanisms of buying and selling the reference assets or its derivatives, of course, with the dollar-pegged Basecoin asset using a consensus mechanism to increase or decrease the supply of tokens as required.
Top 5 things to know about Tether
- Tether has had to recover from a couple of huge setbacks, firstly following a hack that led to the theft of $31 million worth of USDT tokens in November 2017. The following January, it was revealed that the pledged and mandatory audit of its reserve holdings had failed to take place, causing significant legal issues as a result.
- We know there are numerous benefits to Tether. Still, you may not know that USDT's unique dollar-backing system allows it to have high-speed transaction rates without incurring significant delays.
- Tether is the fifth-largest cryptocurrency in the world in terms of market cap, with this having recently crossed the $35-billion threshold amid growing corporate and institutional demand worldwide.
- While Tether's dollar-backed system may not allow the token ever to reach the price heights of Bitcoin or Ethereum, DigitalCoinPrice predicts that it could peak at $4.59 per token in 2028. This would represent an impressive price growth of more than 400% in the next seven years.
- If you buy into Atomic Wallet's membership scheme at the minimum level of 100 AWC, you can join as a 'Blue' member. You can then exchange these coins with USDT tokens in exchange for cash rewards, so it's worth considering if you choose to register with the platform.
There's no doubt that Tether offers considerable value in the crypto market, with its inherent and sustained price stability, which has changed how many people perceive crypto assets.
The distribution of USDT tokens is also prevalent across a diverse range of blockchains and exchanges. Simultaneously, increased adoption and corporate demand have seen the asset's value regularly peak above the $1 mark in 2021.
It currently trades just above $1 per token, for example, while forecasts suggest that the price could increase incrementally through 2021 before peaking at $1.48 in December of this year.
So, there's a great deal to be said for USDT in the current market, particularly as Bitcoin assets continue to experience wild price fluctuations daily.