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.
MKR is a cryptocurrency depicted as a smart contract platform and works alongside the Dai coin and aims to act as a hedge currency that provides traders with a stable alternative to the majority of coins currently available on the market. Maker offers a transparent stablecoin system that is fully inspectable on the Ethereum blockchain. Founded almost three years ago, MakerDao is lead by Rune Christensen, its CEO and founder. Maker’s MKR coin is a recent entrant to the market and is not a well known project. However, after today it will be known by many more people after blowing up 40% and it is one of the coins to rise to prominence during the recent peaks and troughs. After being developed by the MakerDAO team, Maker Dai officially went live on December 18th, 2017. Dai is a price stable coin that is suitable for payments, savings, or collateral and provides cryptocurrency traders with increased options concerning opening and closing positions. Dai lives completely on the blockchain chain with its stability unmediated by the legal system or trusted counterparties and helps facilitate trading while staying entirely in the world of cryptocurrencies. The concept of a stablecoin is fairly straight forward – it’s a token that has its price or value pegged to a particular fiat currency. A stablecoin is a token (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) that exists on a blockchain, but unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, Dai has no volatility. MKR is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and can not be mined. It’s instead created/destroyed in response to DAI price fluctuations in order to keep it hovering around $1 USD. MKR is used to pay transaction fees on the Maker system, and it collateralizes the system. Holding MKR comes with voting rights within Maker’s continuous approval voting system. Bad governance devalues MKR tokens, so MKR holders are incentivized to vote for the good of the entire system. It’s a fully decentralized and democratic structure, then, which is an underutilized USP of blockchain tech. Value volatility is a relative concept among both cryptos and fiat currencies. The US dollar, for example, was worth 110.748 yen on July 9, 2018. On July 4, 2011, $1 was worth 80.64 yen, and on March 18, 1985, $1 was worth 255.65 yen. These are major differences in exchange rates, and inflation within each country makes each currency worth different values even when compared to themselves. One USD in 1913 is worth the equivalent of $25.41 today, and even $1 in 1993 is worth the equivalent of $1.74 today. Stablecoins don’t negate these basic economic principles of value. Instead, both Tether and Dai have values pegged to the U.S. dollar. This is done to stabilize the price.