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.
Libra Credit is a decentralized lending ecosystem that facilitates open access to credit anywhere and anytime based on the Ethereum blockchain. Libra Credit is a global initiative with a mission to provide financial inclusion and lower the cost of financial services. Powered by its proprietary big data, AI-based credit assessment technology and existing global partnership networks, Libra Credit has the expertise and capabilities to realize its mission. Libra Credit aims to offer a seamless digital lending process that can be completed in 5 steps: application, verification and credit assessment, confirmation, collateral deposit, and disbursement. The Libra Credit platform will focus on a dual-credit risk scoring mechanism that considers the creditworthiness of the pledged collateral as well as the credit information of the borrower. Borrowers will be able to pledge any crypto-assets as collateral and receive loans in their desired asset. Using smart contracts and a proprietary collateral valuation and liquidation system, Libra Credit will lock in agreed terms between borrows, lenders, custodians, guarantors and liquidators. Libra Credit was founded in 2017 and operates out of San Francisco, USA. They are backed by investors such as FBG Capital, GBIC, DHVC, Dekypt Capital, Crypto Parency, and others. Lu Hua, Co-Founder & CEO has experience in the payments, financing, and risk management industries. He was previously the CEO of moKredit, one of China’s top digital credit servicing companies. Lu was also the Head of Core Payments for PayPal China and the Head of Global Banking Platform for PayPal US. Dan Schatt, Co-Founder & COO has previously worked as the Chief Commercial Officer at Stockpile Inc., a leading fintech company, and as General Manager of Financial Innovations at PayPal. Howard Wu, Chief Scientist, he is a blockchain and cryptography expert who is a Founding Partner of Dekrypt Capital, Advisor of Blockchain at Berkeley, and Software Engineer at Google. He advises the project in a technical capacity and has received a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from UC Berkeley. There are already quite a few blockchain lending projects, so competition is stiff. Libra Credit’s development progress is rather early compared to its competitors. The crypto-to-crypto lending part seems to be well thought out. However, not so much with the crypto-to-fiat part. According to the roadmap, crypto-to-fiat lending is scheduled to launch in 2018 Q3. With details lacking in the weekly blog update about crypto-to-fiat lending, it is difficult to gauge whether the proposed timeline is reasonable.