Tether (USDT) is a cryptocurrency with a value meant to mirror the value of the U.S. dollar. The idea was to create a stable cryptocurrency that can be used like digital dollars. Coins that serve this purpose of being a stable dollar substitute are called “stable coins.” Tether is the most popular stable coin and even acts as a dollar replacement on many popular exchanges! According to their site, Tether converts cash into digital currency, to anchor or “tether” the value of the coin to the price of national currencies like the US dollar, the Euro, and the Yen. Like other cryptos it uses blockchain. Unlike other cryptos, it is [according to the official Tether site] “100% backed by USD” (USD is held in reserve). The primary use of Tether is that it offers some stability to the otherwise volatile crypto space and offers liquidity to exchanges who can’t deal in dollars and with banks (for example to the sometimes controversial but leading exchange Bitfinex). The digital coins are issued by a company called Tether Limited that is governed by the laws of the British Virgin Islands, according to the legal part of its website. It is incorporated in Hong Kong. It has emerged that Jan Ludovicus van der Velde is the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, which has been accused of being involved in the price manipulation of bitcoin, as well as tether. Many people trading on exchanges, including Bitfinex, will use tether to buy other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Tether Limited argues that using this method to buy virtual currencies allows users to move fiat in and out of an exchange more quickly and cheaply. Also, exchanges typically have rocky relationships with banks, and using Tether is a way to circumvent that. USDT is fairly simple to use. Once on exchanges like Poloniex or Bittrex, it can be used to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It can be easily transferred from an exchange to any Omni Layer enabled wallet. Tether has no transaction fees, although external wallets and exchanges may charge one. In order to convert USDT to USD and vise versa through the Tether.to Platform, users must pay a small fee. Buying and selling Tether for Bitcoin can be done through a variety of exchanges like the ones mentioned previously or through the Tether.to platform, which also allows the conversion between USD to and from your bank account.
Auroracoin is a decentralised, peer-to-peer, and secure cryptocurrency released as an alternative to the Icelandic Króna to bypass governmental restrictions associated with the national fiat currency. It was launched with the aim of becoming the ‘official’ cryptocurrency of Iceland. AUR was a pioneer in the area of country-specific cryptocurrencies. AUR was launched on the 25th of January, 2014, by an anonymous developer who went by the pseudonym of Baldur Friggjar Óðinsson. It was originally based on Litecoin, using the Scrypt algorithm with a Proof of Work mechanism, but was later updated to use a multi-algorithm architecture in 2016, forked from DigiByte. Auroracoin uses the PoW consensus mechanism, which utilises device hashing power to solve a complex mathematical problem in order to authenticate a transaction proposed to be stored in the blockchain. The difficulty of solving the problem ensures that authenticating forged transactions is very difficult unless the attacker owns an impractically large chunk of the network’s total hashing power. AUR is one of the only cryptocurrencies to use a combination of five different hashing algorithms, namely Grøstl, Qubit, scrypt, SHA-256, and Skein. While initially very popular, Auroracoin has seen little to no activity for a while, with poor marketing, and frequent dev team changes. Reasons for little growth have been various, from slow adoption in Iceland, to developers leaving and joining the project midway. However, it is expected to not go lower than the recent low, and might see a rise as AUR plans to launch a more aggressive marketing campaign in Iceland to promote the coin among the masses. Unlike most other altcoins, Auroracoin has made extensive changes to the original codebase. It has introduced security measures such as Automatic checkpointing, and protecting against known flaws present in the BTC blockchain, such as 51% block replacement attacks.