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Tether is an unregulated cryptocurrency token whose issuer, Tether Limited, claims each Tether is backed by one U.S dollar
 
Tether provides investors with the safety of the U.S dollars on exchanges that do not use fiat.
 

 Founded in 2015, Tether is closely related with Bitfinex, which is currently ranked the third largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. Bitfinex handles a daily trading volume of around $2 billion.

Tether has been releasing more tokens into the market. In January 2017, Tether released 850 million tokens.  The increase in Tether circulation has coincided with the increase in cryptocurrency prices.

Analysts claim that printing additional tether moves the cryptocurrency markets. During the timeframe that Tether has been adding tokens to their circulation supply, BTC had appreciated almost 50%.

Tether Facts

 
  • Originally issued on the Bitcoin blockchain.

  • Currently running on the Litecoin blockchain through the Omni Layer protocol.

  • No audits are publicly available to back claim the claim that each unit of Tether is backed by one USD.
  • Currently ranked at number 17th  market cap

  • Circulating supply as of 2/11/18 2,217,140,814 USDT
  • Total market cap as of 2/11/18 $2,232,084,343
  • Tether audited bank account as of September 2017 was $442,481,760.
  • On January 31, 2018 Tether issued 850 million new tokens.

Based on its current market cap and the amount of tokens in circulation, Tether needs to verify that it holds $2.2 billion in reserves. If it doesn’t and if their is any truth to accusations of price manipulation of BTC, BTC could lose even more market cap and a run on Tether can cause it to drop way below $1.

 Current State

  • Tether and Bitfinex are under scrutiny by U.S. regulators. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sent subpoenas on Dec. 6 to virtual-currency venue Bitfinex and Tether.
  • Tether cut ties with the accounting firm that “audited” them in September 2017.
  • Tether has failed to prove how much money is backing its token.
 

Reference

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tether_(cryptocurrency)
https://tether.to/
https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/warning-signs-timeline-tether-and-bitfinex-events/
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/02/tether-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-cryptocurrency-worrying-markets.html