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.
Wanchain seeks to link the present to the future, through the exploration and implementation of blockchain technology. Wanchain aims to build a distributed “bank”. Just as traditional banks are the infrastructure of the current financial framework, Wanchain seeks to build a new, distributed infrastructure of digital assets to form an improved, modern framework - an ambitious goal indeed. Wanchain connects and exchanges value between different blockchain ledgers in a distributed manner. It uses the latest cryptographic theories to build a non-proprietary cross-chain protocol and a distributed ledger that records both cross-chain and intra-chain transactions. Any blockchain network, whether a public, private or consortium chain, can integrate with Wanchain to establish connections between different ledgers and perform low cost inter-ledger asset transfers. The Wanchain ledger supports not only smart contracts, but also token exchange privacy protection. With Wanchain, any institution or individual can set up their own virtual teller window in the “bank” and provide services such as loan origination, asset exchanges, credit payments and transaction settlements based on digital assets. Under the guarantee of “banks” based on the blockchain infrastructure, more people can participate in financial services based on digital assets. To describe it more accurately, Wanchain is a distributed super-financial market based on blockchain. Wanchain uses the Locked Account Generation Scheme to secure funds and keys when there are multiple parties involved. Based on Shamir’s Secret Sharing Scheme, it effectively breaks up a key into shares and distributes it to all included participants. The Storemen are responsible for maintaining and managing the appropriate key shares of the locked accounts for transactions. This method of key share distribution has a few benefits. Because Wanchain generates locked accounts through multi-party computations, there’s increased decentralization. And there’s more stability because you don’t need every key share to produce a signature for a locked account. If some of the Validators are offline, transactions can still be executed with a minimum number of shares. Finally, any transaction with a locked account is done via the original chain. This means that any chain can easily integrate and interact with Wanchain without the need for new transaction types or validators. The Wanchain Foundation is a non-profit organization primarily operating out of Singapore but also has a significant presence in Austin, TX. Wanchain was founded by Jack Lu, a respected player in the blockchain space. Before his current role, Lu co-founded Factom and started Wanglu Tech, a blockchain application development company. Wanglu Tech has been a primary contributor to the open-source Wanchain project. Dustin Byington serves as the Wanchain President. Byington is a blockchain veteran having founded Bitcoin College in 2014 as well as co-founding Tendermint, a software mechanism to securely and consistently replicate applications across machines. Byington also co-founded Satoshi Talent, a platform to connect blockchain entrepreneurs with developers. WAN tokens were initially distributed as ERC-20 tokens to ICO participants, but it’s now possible to exchange these for tokens on the Wanchain mainnet or buy them directly. It’s a common misconception that WAN is an ERC-20 coin. Wanchain is a pioneering and potentially disruptive project with its sights set on becoming a super financial market of the world. Although achieving its lofty goal(s) is going to require a lot more work, Wanchain is further along its roadmap than some projects. But there’s still a good bit of “in theory” going on here. As Wanchain is addressing the whole financial market, it has a number of competitors. Most notably Fusion, Pantos, Ark, and Qash; some may even consider big players the likes of Ripple, Stellar and Ethereum competitors. On the positive side, Wanchain has strong fundamentals, they’ve got a functional mainnet, the vitality of their use case is indisputable, the huge interest in their ICO showed a powerful vein of investor confidence, and the team has a track record of success.