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.
The Skycoin Platform is the most advanced blockchain platform in the world. Developed by early contributors to both Bitcoin and Ethereum, Skycoin’s platform is completely secure, infinitely scalable, and ISP independent. It uses its own specific distributed consensus algorithm, called Obelisk, instead of other commonly used algorithms like proof of work (POW) and proof of stake (POS). Obelisk uses the concept of ‘web of trust dynamics’ which distributes influence over the network and makes consensus decisions depending upon the influence score of each node. Each node subscribes to a select number of other network nodes, and the density of a node’s network of subscribers determines its influence on the network. Skycoin is very fast. With transaction speeds close to 2 seconds and no transaction fees it can rival any other cryptocurrency on the market as a payment method. The transaction costs of Skycoin are covered by Coin Hours. This is value paid to Skycoin holders for each hour they hold a Skycoin. Skycoin is against charging transaction costs and mining incentives as it only drives up the costs of the network. The biggest benefit of Skycoin is that it is energy efficient due to the Web-of-Trust social proof. It can even run on a 30-watt cell phone processor making it great for mobile payments. Centralization becomes less of an issue when anyone can participate in the blockchain. Sia stores tiny pieces of your files on dozens of nodes across the globe. This eliminates any single point of failure and ensures highest possible uptime, on par with other cloud storage providers. A major goal of Skycoin is to promote actual usage of cryptocurrency rather than speculation. Skywire, the flagship application of Skycoin, has the ambitious goal of decentralizing the internet at the hardware level and is about to begin the testnet in April. However, this is just one of the many facets of the Skycoin ecosystem. Skywire will not only provide decentralized bandwidth but also storage and computation, completing the holy trinity of commodities essential for the new internet. Skycoin also has its own ICO platform called Fiber, their own deterministic programming language, CX, derived from Golang, a private decentralized messenger system called Sky-Messenger, and a decentralized social media platform, BBS. Here is another way to think of Skycoin: An open-source, community-owned, hardware-based peer to peer internet designed from first principles and leveraging the incentive system of the blockchain.