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.
Crypto.com, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, seeks to accelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency. The MCO Token Sale was conducted in May-June 2017 and raised US$26.7 million. MCO Card is a Visa-branded debit card that draws from a cryptocurrency-funded bank account. Since it’s a Visa card, you can use your MCO Visa card just like you would any other card. The card and bank account are free for holders of cryptocurrency. In order to open an account, you simply sign up, verify your identity, and transfer any of the various accepted cryptocurrencies to your account. At this time, the Visa card is available to customers in Asia. They also have a waitlist for European customers. Customers in the United States does not have access to it at the moment. However, there are plans to change that. Solving the problem of everyday payments has the potential to be huge for cryptocurrency. However, MCO Visa card is not the only project attempting to create crypto-backed debit (or prepaid) cards. Other projects, such as TenX, are working on the same issue. All of these projects run into challenges implementing such cards in a large scale, compliant manner. Crypto.com hopes to crack the code, ultimately getting cryptocurrencies and popular payment methods to play nicely together. Crypto.com was founded in June 2016 in Switzerland and rebranded from Monaco on 6th July 2018. Their first prototype was developed in October of that year. In February of 2017, they were accepted into a Hong Kong Government backed Cyberport incubation program, where they developed their platform until they were ready to launch their token sale in 2017. The sale closed in June with $26.7 million in funding. Their app became available to pre-registered users in August 2017, followed by the official partnership with Visa in October. The team consists of seasoned veterans in the fin-tech space, most of whom have experience in Asia, where Monaco Cards have first been made available. Since MCO Visa cards are backed by cryptocurrency, they don’t have border issues like fiat currencies. As a result, you can use your card anywhere you go. The card will automatically default to the local fiat currency when you make a purchase. The low fees and exchange rates also apply in other countries. Transactions take place at the exact exchange rate that Crypto.com receives as an institutional trader. In contrast, when you use your debit card across borders with most banks, they’ll add an additional percentage to the exchange rate or include a transaction fee. Crypto.com has connections with eight of the top ten international foreign exchange banks to facilitate currency conversion. The MCO Visa card is a compelling option for anyone looking to make everyday purchases with cryptocurrency. It also makes sense for cross-border travelers. However, we can expect the rollout to take a long time and hit a lot of bumps along the way. The financial industry is highly regulated and cryptocurrency-backed payments is a complex issue, even if Crypto.com's solution seems to make it simple and user-friendly.