About Tether (USDT)

Overview

USDT (Tether) was the first widely recognised stablecoin in the cryptocurrency industry, launching initially as ‘RealCoin’ in July of 2014. It was quickly renamed 'Tether' in November of the same year with trading beginning in February of 2015. Tether was created with the intention of being backed 1:1 to the US dollar and thus maintaining the same value. With a market capitalisation of significantly over $6 billion, Tether maintains its position well within the top 10 cryptocurrencies in terms of size and usually holds the top spot overall in terms of 24-hour volume. Being a stablecoin in a volatile market was the reason for its popularity; especially at the time of its inception. It acted as a stable holding point for cryptocurrency market participants, without the need to exchange crypto for fiat (traditional) currencies. In turn, that allows holders to remain active in the cryptocurrency market, without the volatility risk. Tether has had a significant amount of publicity regarding its procedural use of the USD holdings that are intended to be the driver of Tether's value (1:1). Despite this, it maintains its top spot regardless of the perceived lack of transparency.

How it works

Like most pegged or 'stable' coins, USDT operates as an ERC20 token operating on the Ethereum blockchain. A stable or pegged coin works by keeping the number of coins in circulation backed 100% by an equal quantity of the underlying asset, in this case, the US dollar. New USDT coins are created and put into circulation only after someone purchases them with a deposit of US dollars. So, the US dollars go into the reserves, then USDT coins of the same quantity are created or 'minted'. This works in the opposite directions as well; if a USDT holder wished to withdraw their US dollars, the equivalent USDT coins are destroyed to prevent appreciation or depreciation relative to the US dollar, thus maintaining the peg. Due to uncontrollable market conditions, the price of a USDT coin does not always match the US dollar value exactly, but it is historically very close. To learn more about USDT, visit their website here.

A wallet is essentially a bank account for your cryptocurrency and the wallet address is like your account number. The sender of the cryptocurrency needs a wallet address so they have somewhere they can send it from their wallet, much like a bank transfer. This wallet is giving you access to the blockchain where you can view your balance, send and receive cryptocurrency.

For information please read our beginners guide to cryptocurrency wallets.

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Storing your coins with Wallets

A wallet is essentially a bank account for your cryptocurrency and the wallet address is like your account number. The sender of the cryptocurrency needs a wallet address so they have somewhere they can send it from their wallet, much like a bank transfer. This wallet is giving you access to the blockchain where you can view your balance, send and receive cryptocurrency.

For information please read our beginners guide to cryptocurrency wallets.

Pay with POLI. Its fast!

POLI - internet bankingPOLI is secure and fast. It links directly to your internet banking – login with your normal details and the rest is easy. No extra fees or surcharges. Watch this short video to see how it works.

About Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) is a form of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds. Transactions are stored on a distributed, immutable, online, public ledger known as a blockchain. Bitcoin was the first truly decentralised cryptocurrency which was created by a programmer under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto and was released in 2009. The system is peer-to-peer, verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the blockchain. Bitcoin can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services with over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepting bitcoin as payment. Bitcoin can also be held as an investment. There are only a fixed number of Bitcoin will ever be mined (21 million), it’s not controlled by any one government or central bank, and there’s no such thing as quantitative easing or fractional reserve banking. These qualities make Bitcoin excellent as a store of value and a long-term safe-haven asset, similar to gold.

A Bitcoin success story that went viral on social media is Kristoffer Koch from Norway. Koch invested around $27 in Bitcoin in 2009 and then forgot about it for four years. He remembered about his Bitcoin wallet in 2013, which had then grown in value to $886,000.

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