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.
ChainLink is a decentralized oracle service, the first of its kind. When Ethereum went live in 2015, it revolutionized what blockchain could bring to enterprise solution and traditional business. Blockchain was no longer just a medium for new age financial transaction, confined to Bitcoin’s potential to disrupt traditional currency exchange. With Ethereum powered smart contracts, Vitalik Buterin opened up a Pandora’s Box of use cases for blockchain technology. Problem is, per their design, smart contracts can only manage data on the blockchain. Their potential, the ability to provide tamperproof, decentralized applications for uses the world over, is still largely untapped, as many of the smart contract programs built on Ethereum lack a bridge to the real world industries they’re trying to improve. ChainLink’s first component consists of on-chain contracts deployed on Ethereum’s blockchain. These oracle contracts process the data requests of users looking to take advantage of the network’s oracle services. If a user or entity wants access to off-chain data, they submit a user contract (or requesting contract) to ChainLink’s network, and the blockchain processes these requests into their own contracts. These contracts are responsible for matching the requesting contract up with the appropriate oracles. The contracts include a reputation contract, an order-matching contract, and an aggregating contract. The first of these, the reputation contract, is exactly as it sounds: it checks an oracle provider’s track record to verify its integrity. In turn, the order-matching contract logs the user contract’s service level agreement on the network and collects bids from responsible oracle providers. Finally, the aggregating contract accumulates the collective data of the chosen oracles and balances them to find the most accurate result. Unfortunately, the ChainLink team does not offer a roadmap, but a testnet of ChainLink’s services should come sometime within Q1 of 2018. Generally, the project’s general lack of marketing and concrete updates have frustrated community members in the past. Sergey Nazarov, the project’s CEO, is known for a quiet community presence that favors of behind-the-scenes work on ChainLink. The team may not hype their project much, but for what it’s worth, they sacrifice brand marketing in favor of product development–and some community members find this focus to be refreshing. For instance, they’ve established an oracle with Swift Bank, and have a few quiet partnerships with zepplin_os and Request Network. Chainlink has the potential to connect smart contracts with the outside world. It may allow parties to smart contracts to be able to receive external inputs that prove performance and create payment outputs that end users want to receive, such as bank payments. This has the potential to allow smart contract to mimic the vast majority of financial agreements currently available in the market. With the ChainLink Network, anyone can securely provide smart contracts with access to key external data and any other API capabilities, in exchange for financial reward. Although it remains to be seen how the incentive system will operate, there is potential for rewards similar to those available for crypto miners to be available to Node Operators that provide useful data to the Chainlink network.' Check out CoinBureau for the complete review on Chainlink.