Why Has Tether Dominated the Stablecoin Space?

Since 2014, Tether’s U.S. dollar-denominated stablecoin, USDT, has grown to dominate the crypto space.

The token has found a home among traders looking to hedge against volatile digital assets like Bitcoin and Ether. Along the way, however, it has been met with various controversies. 

Despite these obstacles, Tether has earned the title as the number one stablecoin across a wide range of metrics.

What Is the Tether Stablecoin?

Tether’s CTO, Paolo Ardoino, told Crypto Briefing that Tether has enjoyed a “first-mover advantage” in the crypto space. 

“In 2014, members of the crypto community got together after seeing a big problem in the space,” said Ardoino. “It was far too slow to move between fiat and crypto to make trades on price swings for Bitcoin.”

At that time, the largest trading pair was between the U.S. dollar and Bitcoin. But because it can take up to three to five days for a traditional bank to process a transaction, large spreads began to appear on exchanges. 

In those few days that banks needed to confirm transactions, the price of BTC could change dramatically.

A spread on an exchange refers to the difference between the highest price a buyer will pay (“bid” price) and the lowest price a seller will accept (“ask” price) for a given asset. 

Bid prices can be considered the demand for an asset, and ask prices can be considered as the supply for this asset. 

When this spread is small, it is an indicator that a market is relatively liquid. When this spread is large, a market is illiquid. At the time of Tether’s creation, the Bitcoin market was very illiquid, and the spread was very large. 

Ardoino and others decided to offer a digital version of the U.S. dollar to improve transaction speeds and make trading Bitcoin more liquid. To do this, they created a token that would always equal the price of one U.S. dollar. It is called USDT.

“There are three steps that happen in the life cycle of new USDT: Authorize, issue, and redeem,”…

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