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.
Huobi, the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, recently announced and launched a new currency. The Huobi Token (HT) rewards exchange users for their loyalty with lowered transaction fees while also carrying its own value in tradable pairs against popular currencies. The hope was to bring greater value to Huobi’s millions of users, mostly located in Asian countries. The launch of the Huobi Token follows in the footsteps of other loyalty-building tokens that other exchanges have launched. The first and most successful of these tokens has been Binance Coin (BNB). The creation of BNB secured Binance’s place as the world’s leading exchange. It offered discounted trading fees in exchange for customer loyalty, primarily functioning as a loyalty rewards system. Huobi officially announced its intentions to launch a new token on January 22, 2018. Over the course of 15 days, Huobi would distribute 300 million HT (60% of the total supply) to its pro users who purchased a discounted service package. Each morning, a new batch of HT would become available on a first come, first served basis. Huobi declared this token distribution scheme, “not an ICO,” due to the nature of the offering. Users are buying a specific service package, part of which includes HT that give a discount toward trading fees. The exchange launched the Huobi Token as part of an overall strategy to recover its user base after tightening regulations in China severely restricted cryptocurrency trading. In an interview with CoinDesk, Leon Li, Huobi’s founder, revealed that Chinese rule changes had decimated the trading volume on Huobi by 95% between September 15 and November 1, 2017. The HT token distribution began on January 24 and wrapped up on February 7, 2018. Each day of the distribution, millions of tokens sold out in mere minutes after going on sale. At that point, 300 million HT had been distributed to Huobi Pro members who bought packages. That’s 60% of the total supply currently in public circulation. Another 200 million HT, 40% of the total supply, was set aside. 20% goes toward user rewards and platform operation. The other 20% is vested for four years and constitutes the team reward. Huobi isn’t the first exchange to issue its own token. Binance (BNB), Bibox (BIX), KuCoin (KCS) and Coss (COSS) have all issued their own tokens as well.