Tether, the leading stablecoin with a market cap of over $83 billion, is nine years old. A note from the firm reminds us that on October 6th, 2014, the dollar-based stablecoin ($USDT) launched on the Omni blockchain. Today, Tether’s nearest competitor is a third of its size, and USDT ranks just after Bitcoin and Ethereum as the most popular crypto.
Stablecoins have become an on-ramp and trading tool for the global crypto marketplace. Stablecoins like Tether provide a way to move fiat into digital assets and then out to park cash when you want to close a position. While this is the main usage for stablecoins, advocates see greater potential – if regulators get things right.
Tether has introduced other stablecoins like Tether Gold ($XAUt), backed by physical gold in Switzerland, as well as a Euro-backed crypto and several others.
Tether notes that it has invested in P2P communications, AI, education, renewable energy, Bitcoin mining, and more. The company explains that “these pieces fit into a global vision where communication, data, AI, education, and money shed intermediaries, fostering a more scalable, resilient, fair, and transparent world.”
Tether CTO and public spokesperson Paolo Ardoino says their path has been “riddled with challenges,” but they are learning and growing.
“To our supporters and challengers alike, we extend our gratitude. Thank you for being part of our journey.”
If CBDCs become the norm, this may undermine the value of stablecoins, but government-issued digital currency for retail users is not a foregone conclusion. In the US, there is real fear about government abuse of digital dollars. But without clearly defined rules that regulate stablecoins, this sector of crypto will not be able to accomplish what it wants to, which is to be the new payment rails for the masses that provide speed and security at a far lower cost than legacy platforms.