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.
Bytecoin is the first cryptocurrency created with CryptoNote technology. Bytecoin allows users to make absolutely anonymous money transfers through the CryptoNote algorithm. CryptoNote uses CryptoNote ring signatures to provide anonymous transactions and allows you to sign a message on behalf of a group. The signature only proves the message was created by someone from the group, but all the possible signers are indistinguishable from each other. Even if outgoing transactions are untraceable, everyone may still be able to see the payments received and thus determine one's income. By using a variation of the Diffie-Hellman exchange protocol, a receiver has multiple unique one-time addresses derived from his single public key. After funds are sent to these addresses they can only be redeemed by the receiver; and it would be impossible to cross-link these payments. As a primarily peer-to-peer (p2p) payment system, Bytecoin has many of the same use-cases as Bitcoin. Created in 2012, Bytecoin is one of the earliest developed cryptocurrencies. Until recently, the team behind the coin has kept themselves anonymous. Now, though, they’ve opened up multiple communication channels, removed some layers of anonymity, and even built several local communities. Bitcoin’s PoW consensus algorithm heavily favors miners that use powerful GPU and ASIC machines over those trying to mine with CPUs. This causes the network to centralize around the more powerful miners. Bytecoin attempts to close the gap between these two classes of miners with a new algorithm, Egalitarian Proof-of-Work (PoW). Egalitarian PoW uses a version of skrypt, a proof of work function similar to the hashcash function used by Bitcoin. The difference between the two is that scrypt isn’t memory bound. Because of this, you can produce highly efficient CPU mining rigs. GPUs will always be about 10 times more effective, though. The Bytecoin project has been fairly fractured since its inception in July 2012. Previously, several isolated teams worked on the project without seemingly communicating with each other. This led to numerous forks and versions of the coin. In July 2017, the team decided to change their image and provide more transparency to the community. The team still remains pseudo-anonymous by only providing names and headshots on their webpage – no bios or social media links. But, it’s tough to expect more from a project that’s focused on privacy. The team has been busy at work refactoring their code and are planning to release a new public API on February 6, 2018. They’ll also be entering the Asian, Middle East, and African markets throughout 2018.