Meaning and Uses for Tethering Crypto Explained

What Is Tether (USDT)?

Tether (USDT) is a cryptocurrency stablecoin pegged to the U.S. greenback and backed “100% by Tether’s reserves,” in response to its web site. Tether is owned by iFinex, the Hong Kong-registered firm that additionally owns the crypto alternate BitFinex.

Tether was launched as RealCoin in July 2014 and was rebranded as Tether in November 2014. Initially based mostly on the Bitcoin blockchain, Tether now helps Bitcoin’s Omni and Liquid protocols in addition to the Ethereum, TRON, EOS, Algorand, Solana, and Bitcoin Money (SLP) blockchains.

As of January 2023, Tether was the third-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) and the biggest stablecoin with a market capitalization of almost $68 billion. In 2022, Tether’s USDT accounted for a lot of the exchanges out of Bitcoin by worth.

Key Takeaways

  • Tether (USDT) is a stablecoin, a kind of cryptocurrency pursuing a gentle valuation.
  • Tether is utilized by traders who wish to keep away from the volatility typical of cryptocurrencies whereas holding funds inside the crypto system.
  • Tether’s dad or mum firm paid almost $60 million in fines in 2021 to settle two regulatory probes alleging it mishandled and misrepresented its reserves.
  • Tether has expanded to different geographic areas, together with China, Mexico, and the Eurozone.

Understanding Tether

Tether belongs to a fast-growing breed of cryptocurrencies known as stablecoins, which intention to maintain the worth of their tokens steady, mostly by tying it to the worth of a standard foreign money just like the U.S. greenback.

Tether additionally points tokens pegged to the euro, the offshore Chinese language yuan, the Mexican peso, and gold, none with greater than a small fraction of the market cap of its U.S. dollar-pegged USDT tokens.

Pegged Outlined

The peg to a standard foreign money, typically backed by collateral reserves made up fully or principally of the pegged foreign money, ensures stablecoins aren’t topic to the identical worth volatility as extra speculative cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.


Tether updates a breakdown of its reserves holdings day by day on its web site. As of Jan. 29, 2023, it reported property of $67.8 billion for USDT. As of the identical date, Tether reported holding 82.45% of its reserves in money, money equivalents, short-term deposits, and business paper; 4.69% in company bonds; 9.02% in secured loans to unaffiliated entities; and three.85% in different investments, together with digital tokens.

Whereas Tether promotes that it backs each USDT with an equal quantity of foreign money, this is not fully the reality, because the numbers above present. Nonetheless, prior to now it has honored its 1-to-1 dedication.


A steady worth promotes utilizing stablecoins as a medium of alternate like typical cash. As famous above, in sensible phrases, stablecoins have made it simpler to invest in cryptocurrency markets. Their fast development in reputation can be the results of stablecoins’ use as collateral by decentralized finance (DeFi) lending and staking protocols.

Tether Historical past

In November 2017, Tether reported the digital theft of $31 million in USDT tokens, after which a tough fork was carried out. By then, the corporate was already coping with critics questioning the adequacy of its reserves and, as subsequent investigations would present, having bother accessing banking providers.


In April 2019, New York Legal professional Basic Letitia James obtained a courtroom order enjoining Tether and BitFinex dad or mum iFinex from additional violations of New York regulation after figuring out that BitFinex had borrowed not less than $700 million from Tether’s reserves to offset BitFinex company and consumer funds frozen and finally seized from its Panamanian banking associate Crypto Capital Corp. in a money-laundering probe.

Tether is a chartered member of the Blockchain Alliance, a coalition that works to advertise blockchain improvement and its authorized makes use of.


In February 2021, Tether and BitFinex settled the case by agreeing to pay a advantageous of $18.5 million, discontinue buying and selling with any New York state residents or entities, and furnish details about its reserves to the New York Legal professional Basic’s workplace for the subsequent two years.

In October 2021, the U.S. Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee (CFTC) introduced that Tether agreed to pay a $41 million advantageous “over claims that Tether stablecoin was absolutely backed by U.S. {dollars}.” The truth is, “Tether held ample fiat reserves in its accounts to again USDT tether tokens in circulation for less than 27.6% of the times in a 26-month pattern time interval from 2016 by way of 2018,” in response to CFTC. Bitfinex agreed to pay a $1.5 million advantageous to settle separate CFTC allegations as a part of the settlement.


In Might 2022, Tether’s worth briefly fell to as little $0.96 following the collapse within the worth of a distinct stablecoin, TerraUSD (UST), from an issuer not affiliated with Tether or BitFinex. The value of Tether tokens rapidly rebounded to greater than $0.99, and Tether mentioned it was persevering with to honor redemption requests at a 1-to-1 ratio to the U.S. greenback.

Tether additionally launched MXNT, a stablecoin backed by the Mexican peso following earlier expansions into Europe (EURT) and China (CNHT).

How Is Tether Helpful?

Tether helps traders transfer funds between cryptocurrency markets and the normal monetary system, minimizing volatility resulting from its 1-for-1 peg to conventional currencies. 

How Do I Purchase USDT?

Tether tokens might be purchased and offered on cryptocurrency exchanges, together with Binance, CoinSpot, Bitfinex, and Kraken.

Is Tether a Stablecoin?

Sure, Tether is the primary and best-known stablecoin within the crypto world. Different stablecoins embody True USD (TUSD), Pax Greenback (USDP), and USD Coin (USDC).

How Does Tether Keep at $1?

Tether can stay close to that worth as long as it continues to carry its 1-to-1 ratio of the foreign money (or equivalents) it’s pegged to.

The Backside Line

Tether is a cryptocurrency that makes an attempt to keep up a worth peg to an underlying foreign money such because the greenback or euro. It does this by maintaining sufficient precise foreign money in reserves that the cryptocurrency holds the identical worth because the fiat foreign money.

Tether is primarily used to transform cryptocurrencies to fiat to stop slippage, or a lower in worth between transaction initiation and execution. Nonetheless, there are occasions when it is not precisely pegged to the fiat foreign money it’s speculated to be monitoring. As an illustration, when the alternate FTX collapsed in November 2022, Tether plummeted to almost $0.995 however rebounded rapidly, at instances seeing way more than a 1-to-1 peg by way of January 2023.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and different Preliminary Coin Choices (“ICOs”) is very dangerous and speculative, and this text isn’t a suggestion by Investopedia or the author to put money into cryptocurrencies or different ICOs. Since every particular person’s scenario is exclusive, a professional skilled ought to all the time be consulted earlier than making any monetary selections. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the knowledge contained herein. As of the date this text was written, the writer doesn’t personal cryptocurrency.

See also  Is Getting a Free Credit Report Safe?