Tether (USDT) popularity in the cryptocurrency space is unmatched. Immediate data indicates it is the most widely used stablecoin by virtue of trading volume. In November, for instance, USDT accounted for as much as 79% of Bitcoin trading between fiat or stablecoins. Likewise, a total of 9.69 million Bitcoins were exchanged in favor of the Tether stablecoin.
The popularity stems from the fact that Tether is one of the most stable cryptocurrencies, given that it is pegged to the US dollar. USDT popularity and trading volume are expected to continue rising as cryptocurrency mainstream adoption continues to gain traction. Likewise, the stablecoin looks set to benefit from increased usage in derivatives such as crypto exchanges like Okex, which has already unveiled USDT futures.
The stability aspect brought about by stablecoins should continue to benefit the broader cryptocurrency market. Gone are the days when people shunned the market on fear of the high levels of volatility as well as the lack of liquidity. With the likes of USDT being pegged on stable assets such as the US dollar, investors are now able to use stablecoins to hedge against market volatility.
While USDT looks set to continue dominating the stablecoin landscape, it has had to contend with a fair share of challenges. There were ownership concerns in 2017 after it emerged that Bitfinex and Tether Ltd might be backed by the same owners, for example.
Tether has also had to contend with supply concerns amidst fears in 2017 that there might have been a large supply of USDT relative to demand.
Uncertainty continues to surround Tether. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has asked for proof to show if there is sufficient US dollar backing the 2.3 billion Tether coins in circulation. While Tether has provided a financial audit, inconsistencies have cropped up, especially with ties to Tether holdings.
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