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Tether (USDT), launched in 2014 as a rebranding of RealCoin, is a stablecoin pegged to the United States Dollar. Like all stablecoins, it is used by investors to combat the volatility of the market.
There are approximately 4 billion Tether tokens in circulation. Pegged on a 1:1 basis with the US Dollar, with 1 token being equivalent to 1 dollar, this means that Tether must back the entire supply with fiat or other assets - which has been the subject of a lot of attention.
Most recently, the New York Attorney General’s Office officially subpoenaed parent company iFinex, and alleged that Bitfinex and Tether were involved in covering $850 million in losses. The two entities vehemently opposed this, but the case is ongoing. Tether has long claimed that its reserves fully back all of the tokens in circulation.
Tether is closely associated with Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex. Bitfinex integrated Tether into the exchange in 2015, with management mostly being the same across the two entities.
Tether claims that its supplies are 100% backed by traditional currency, cash equivalents, and “from time to time may include other assets and receivables from loans made by Tether to third parties.”
Tether, being a stablecoin, does not have much in the way of development in the near future. However, as a part of the stablecoin niche, it is competing with several other similar tokens. Stablecoins are a widely remarked upon trend in the market, as many find the stability a good way to overcome the volatile prices when trading.