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.
Ardor is the latest in the growing field of contenders for blockchain as a service (BaaS) providers. Ardor provides the blockchain infrastructure for businesses and institutions to leverage the strengths of blockchain technology without having to invest in developing custom blockchain solutions. Instead, Ardor offers a main chain that handles blockchain security and decentralization plus customizable child chains that come ready to use, right out of the box, for various business applications. The developers of Ardor are the same company behind the open source Ethereum’s ERC20 protocol to build on top of the Ethereum blockchain. They pay fees in Ether. To test Ardor’s capabilities and serve as an example of an operating child chain, the Ardor developers have created Ignis. Ignis will implement all of the customizable features that come from the Nxt code base. Essentially, Ignis will be a proof of concept and could be the first of many more child chains on the Ardor platform. The Ignis ICO recently raised $15 million in funding for development. In the future, Ardor child chains could be used to create equity trading platforms, digital file transfer services, private enterprise blockchain applications, and many more use cases. Ardor’s strengths are quick time to setup and wide customizability, making it a great option for companies looking to leverage blockchain without the resources to dedicate to custom development. Ardor has many architectural advantages. One of them and perhaps the most influential one is that it has been created using Java; one of the most widespread programming languages in the world today. This is definitely a step in the right direction seeing as it becomes ten times easier for a commercial application to succeed if the development language is one which most programmers can relate to.