USDT Hits $100 Billion Milestone as Tether Plans Stablecoin Recovery Tools

USDT Hits $100 Billion Milestone as Tether Plans Stablecoin Recovery Tools

On the day USDT reached a milestone $100 billion market cap, the company behind the stablecoin, Tether, announced recovery plans for holders if a blockchain was ever disrupted.

The $100bn market cap is a testament to the value of stablecoins in both the cryptocurrency realm and across TradFi, but it, at times, has been a rocky road to reach such widespread adoption.

On March 4, Tether released a recovery process to protect users’ funds if a blockchain is disrupted, as it attempts to allay concerns about the risk of using USDT.

USDT is now the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap, behind Bitcoin and Ethereum — with BTC itself narrowing in on its own ATH.

 

 

Key Takeaways

  • Tether, the stablecoin behind USDT, has hit a $100 billion market cap milestone.
  • With its widespread adoption on 14 blockchains, especially on the Tron network, Tether has become the third-largest cryptocurrency, trailing only Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • In response to concerns about blockchain disruptions, Tether has introduced a recovery plan to safeguard users’ funds.
  • Users will be able to validate a transaction to another chain if disruption occurs.
  • Concerns about Tether’s backing have persisted since its inception, but the company seems to be shaking the reputation off through closer scrutiny of its reserves.

Tether tokens are available on 14 blockchains and have become especially popular on the Tron network, where low transaction fees are encouraging users in certain countries to buy and sell USDT as an alternative to devalued local currencies.

Tron has overtaken the Ethereum chain for the largest share of USDT in circulation, accounting for $50.4 billion compared with $40.6 billion on Ethereum, according to DeFi Llama data.

USDT Protection if a Blockchain Goes Offline

The new recovery tool aims to enable users to maintain access to their Tether stablecoins if the blockchain they are hosted on goes down.

The company said:

“In the event that any blockchain on which USDT is available becomes disrupted, Tether has developed and will implement its proactive measures to ensure uninterrupted accessibility for our holders, and safeguarding users’ accessibility to their USDT.”

Users would be able to migrate their USDT tokens to another blockchain through a web interface or command-line tools by cryptographically signing a migration request to verify ownership.

The web-based option supports popular browser extension wallets and hardware wallets, while the command-line interface allows users to enter their private key directly, enabling them to sign the request using an open-source script on their local machine.

Why USDT is Surging

Interest in crypto has surged since the approval of several bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in January, in turn increasing demand for USDT as an on-ramp and off-ramp to convert funds to and from cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Trading volumes in investment products reached a record of over $30 billion last week, driven by ETF demand, according to digital asset manager CoinShares, at times representing 50% of global Bitcoin daily trading volumes on trusted exchanges.

Total assets under management (AUM) reached $82.6 billion, approaching the all-time high of $86 billion at the peak of the market in early November 2021.

Fiat currency-pegged stablecoins such as Tether typically mint (or create) new tokens when users submit a transaction to convert their fiat at a value of 1:1.

So if a user requests to buy $100 worth of a stablecoin, 100 tokens are minted.

But Tether recently authorized a mint of $1 billion in USDT on the Ethereum blockchain to replenish inventory in preparation for an increase in issuance requests and swaps between blockchains, according to a post on X, formerly Twitter, by Tether’s chief executive officer, Paolo Ardoino.

 

Ardoino expects crypto demand to increase as more funds and companies invest in Bitcoin now that the ETFs give them the legitimacy that they need to convince accountants and auditors they should hold some on their balance sheets.

Ardoino said in a panel discussion last week:

“We are going to see a wide range of hedge funds and pension funds that will start to add Bitcoin to their portfolio now that the Bitcoin ETF is out there.

“More and more fund managers are interested in starting to add up to 5% of their portfolio into Bitcoin.

“But ultimately one of the most interesting things is companies more and more will start keeping part of their unused balance sheet in Bitcoin… and that will grow over time.”

Stablecoins are also at the forefront of retail interest in crypto.

Intergovernmental blockchain expert Anndy Lian, speaking to Techopedia about Tether, said:

“Tether is a remarkable achievement in the cryptocurrency space, as it provides a stable and convenient way to use fiat currencies on the blockchain.

“USDT as stablecoins that are pegged 1-to-1 with a matching fiat currency are widely adopted across major exchanges, OTC desks, and wallets, and have surpassed Bitcoin in terms of trading volume.

“USDT is a sign of how useful stablecoins are in the world, as they bridge the gap between the traditional and the digital financial systems.

“They offer the benefits of both worlds: the stability and familiarity of fiat currencies, and the speed and transparency of the blockchain. It also reduces the volatility and complexity that are often associated with cryptocurrencies, making them more accessible and appealing to a wider audience.

Tether’s reliance on a “trust me” status has raised doubts and suspicions among some investors and observers, who question the legitimacy and sustainability of Tether’s operations.

“Fast forward to today, Tether has refined its operations and is the widely used stablecoin in the world now. In my humble opinion, doubts about them have gone down a lot.”

“Stablecoins are becoming increasingly important,” according to Dina White, General Counsel at Zodia Markets, a digital asset brokerage and exchange platform.

“We are seeing this at Zodia Markets, particularly due to cross-border payment efficiencies and cost-savings. And they could become a widespread means of retail payment.”

Tether Strives for Legitimacy Amid Controversy

Tether’s growing popularity among crypto users extends to criminal groups, which are increasingly using USDT to transfer and launder money.

A recent United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report on organized crime in East and Southeast Asia (PDF) found that “USDT on the TRON155 blockchain has become a preferred choice for regional cyberfraud operations and money launderers alike due to its stability and the ease, anonymity, and low fees of its transactions.”

The report added: “Between September 2022 and September 2023, a recent fund audit of USDT-based transactions by one independent blockchain data analysis company found transactions totaling 17.07 billion USDT connected to underground currency exchanges, illegal commodity trades, unlawful collection and payment processes, and various criminal activities.

“Law enforcement and financial intelligence authorities in East and Southeast Asia have also reported USDT among the most popular cryptocurrencies used by organized crime groups, demonstrated by a surging volume of cyber fraud, money laundering, and underground banking-related cases.”

Tether responded to the report with criticism that “the UN’s analysis ignores the traceability of Tether tokens and the proven record Tether has of collaborating with law enforcement.

“We are disappointed in the UN’s assessment that singles out USDT highlighting its involvement in illicit activity while ignoring its role in helping developing economies in emerging markets, completely neglected by the global financial world simply because servicing such communities would be unprofitable for them.

“Rather than focusing solely on risks, the UN should also discuss how centralized stablecoins can improve anti-financial crime efforts.”

Tether stated that it collaborates with the US Department of Justice (DoJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the US Secret Service (USSS) to monitor USDT tokens, ensuring that traceability surpasses “traditional banking systems that for decades have been the vessel for laundering substantial sums proven by the fines that have been levied on them.”

Tether has also developed a tool to monitor secondary markets with blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.

“Tether tokens, using public blockchains, make it possible to meticulously track every transaction, making it an impractical choice for illicit activities. This is evident in our freezing of more than US$300 million within the last few months, showcasing our commitment to combating the criminal use of cryptocurrencies,” the statement added.

Is Growing Tether Usage Supported by Real Value?

Launched in 2014, Tether has long been controversial because of speculation about whether the full value of USDT in circulation is backed by real collateral.

In 2021, Tether paid fines of $41 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and $18.5 million to the New York Attorney General’s Office for falsely claiming that USDT was backed by US dollars on a 1:1 basis between 2016 and 2019.

The company now publishes daily reserve data, monthly reports, and quarterly reviews breaking down its reserves, which it says are independently audited.

Its most recent report for December 2023 showed total cash holdings of $82.1 billion, $3.5 billion in precious metals, $2.8 billion in Bitcoin, $3.8 billion in other investments, and $4.8 billion in secured loans, along with $44 million in corporate bonds.

 

 

 

Source: https://www.techopedia.com/usdt-hits-100-billion-milestone-as-tether-plans-stablecoin-recovery-tools

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Today in Crypto: Bitget Q3 Report Finds BGB Trading Volume Exceeded $1.3 Billion, US Doctor Pleaded Guilty to Hiring Hitman With BTC, Beluga Raises $4 Million

Today in Crypto: Bitget Q3 Report Finds BGB Trading Volume Exceeded $1.3 Billion, US Doctor Pleaded Guilty to Hiring Hitman With BTC, Beluga Raises $4 Million

Exchange news

  • Bitget released a financial report highlighting the platform’s achievements for Q3 2023, stating that, despite the spot trading and derivative trading volume on centralized exchanges (CEXs) declining by 22% and 23%, respectively, Bitget achieved one of the highest increases in market share of 9.43%. It further reported that the BGB token reached the top 5 CEX tokens by market cap, with a 300% year-to-date price growth; the number of BGB holders overpassed 350,000 in Q3; the trading volume for BGB exceeded $1.3 billion; the exchange unveiled its expansion plans into the Middle East region, and it launched the $100 million fund to support the Web3 ecosystem.

Crime news

  • A Georgia, USA, doctor pleaded guilty to using the dark web to hire a hitman to kill his girlfriend, paying over $16,000 in bitcoin (BTC) for the job. According to the US Attorney’s Office, the order included the victim’s name, address, Facebook account, license plate, and car description, with James Wan (54) stating: “Can take wallet phone and car. Shoot and go. Or take car.” In April 2022, Wan transferred a 50% downpayment of approximately $8,000 in BTC to the dark web marketplace, but that payment was lost, so he followed it up with another one. The administrator confirmed the new address was correct and that the BTC had arrived in the escrow account. A week later, he sent another $8,000 worth of BTC to ensure his escrow account contained the total required to complete the order, followed by $1,200 in May after the BTC price had dropped. FBI agents learned about the order, notified the victim, and provided her protection, the press release said.

Investment news

  • Crypto platform Beluga announced a $4 million seed round from crypto and FinTech investors. The round was led by Fin Capital with participation from AnagramUDHCDispersion CapitalAptos Labs2 Punks CapitalBorderless CapitalKyber Capital186 VenturesW11 CapitalRubik Ventures, and more. Angel investors included Charlie Lee, Founder of Litecoin; Mike Lempres, Former Chief Risk and Legal Officer of Coinbase; Brandon Gath, Head of Kraken Ventures; Akash Garg, Former CTO of MoonPay; Salil Pitroda, Former Blockchain.com Board Observer; Howard Lindzon, Co-Founder of Stocktwits; and Jim Robinson, Co-Founder of RRE VenturesAccording to the press release, in the coming months, Beluga plans to launch more tools to help onboard new users and help them find and use the best crypto products.

Regulation news

  • The use of cryptocurrency by Hamas to fund its strike on Israel is likely to raise red flags in Asian countries that are framing regulations to govern the digital currency, the South China Morning Post reported, citing analysts. “It is a kick on the backside for most governments. All regulatory bodies will take a closer look at crypto regulation. Governments will need to start implementing new rules and regulations,” said Raj Kapoor, founder of India Blockchain Alliance. Some countries may even “bring up the narrative that banning cryptocurrencies is the way forward,” argued Anndy Lian, Singapore-based author of the book NFT: From Zero to Hero. He added that banning crypto would just drive terrorist financing underground and make it harder to trace and stop. “Cryptocurrencies can be traced and tracked, while fiat (currency) such as US dollars cannot.” Terrorist financing underscores the need for harmonizing standards across jurisdictions, analysts opined.

AI news

  • ELONN.AI (ENHANCED_LANGUAGE_ORIENTED_NEURAL_NETWORK), backed by SMART VALOR, a Switzerland-based technology company and the only digital asset exchange listed on Nasdaq in Europe, today announced the first stage of its product roadmap and the app launch. Per an announcement, “in a bold pursuit to disrupt the supremacy of Big Tech in the realm of AI, the founders’ vision is to craft an AI companion, elevating every investment experience with heightened intelligence, safety, and effortless simplicity.” Olga Feldmeier, the Chief Evengelizer of ELONN.AI, said that “we believe that the future of AI is decentralized, open-source and does not belong in walled gardens.” As an initiator, SMART VALOR, has funded the initial development of ELONN.AI for the amount of $14 million, with part of the funding stemming from the company’s initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq First North last year, it said.

Blockchain news

  • Q Development AG, the company supporting the decentralized Q Protocol, which works to strengthen the governance of blockchain-based projects, announced the beginning of stage two of its Saving & Borrowing Incentive Program. Per the press release, the initiative is designed to encourage the use of Q’s Saving and Borrowing platform, which enables users to borrow QUSD stablecoins against collateral such as WBTCDAI, and USDC. Users receive Q tokens for asset bridging when assets are transferred from Ethereum to Q; locking collateral assets into a Q vault; and parking QUSD stablecoins within Q’s Saving Portal. The initiative comprises three phases, each lasting three weeks, with subsequent phases only commencing should a pre-set total value locked (TVL) goal be met. The current phase requires users to lock a total of $500,000 by October 29, it said.

 

 

Source: https://cryptonews.com/news/today-in-crypto-bitget-q3-report-finds-bgb-trading-volume-exceeded-13-billion-us-doctor-pleaded-guilty-to-hiring-hitman-with-btc-beluga-raises-4-million.htm

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Anndy Lian comments on NFT sales falling below US$1 billion | 3AC files for bankruptcy | Stablecoins

Anndy Lian comments on NFT sales falling below US$1 billion | 3AC files for bankruptcy | Stablecoins

This video is featured on The Daily Forkast, July 4th, 2022, presented by Joel Flynn for the latest in blockchain & crypto news. The following were highlighted:

Monthly NFT sales fall below US$1 billion for the first time in a year. (https://forkast.news/monthly-nft-sales-below-1billion-12-months/)

Meanwhile, Three Arrows Capital files for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the US.
(https://forkast.news/headlines/three-arrows-capital-chapter-15-bankruptcy/)

Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX doubles down on BlockFi bailout.
(https://forkast.news/headlines/blockfi-deal-sam-bankman-fried-ftx-clients/)

And finally, experts weigh in on the future of stablecoins.

Experts who commented on this video include:
Anndy Lian, Chief Digital Advisor, Mongolian Productivity Organization
Annabelle Huang, Managing Partner, Amber Group
Jason P Gottlieb, Chair of Digital Assets, Morrison Cohen
Trent Barnes, Principal, Zerocap

00:37 – Monthly NFT sales fall below US$1 billion for the first time in a year.
03:12 – Three Arrows Capital files for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the US.
04:00 – Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX doubles down on BlockFi bailout.
09:23 – Experts weigh in on the future of stablecoins.

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Original Source: https://forkast.news/video-audio/crypto-winter-hits-nfts-three-arrows-capital-files-for-bankruptcy/

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

j j j