EN Down
Hi, user_no_name
Live Chat

A hand points towards an imagined blockchain concept


Tether (USDT) is one of cryptocurrencies’ most impactful stablecoins. Acting as a substitute for the US dollar, Tether seeks stability amidst the volatility of crypto assets. 

In this article, we will analyze Tether’s origins, its intended functionality, the controversies surrounding it, and how it has shaped the growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies over the past decade.


Origins of Tether

Tether Holdings Limited (Tether) is a blockchain company established in 2014. It is most famous for its USDT token, intended to maintain a peg of USD1 each. Tether ensures that it holds reserve assets worth USD1 for each USDT token issued.

This stablecoin is one of the largest and most widely used cryptocurrencies, with a market cap of nearly $90 billion in 2023.

As one of the earliest stablecoins, Tether attracted significant attention and users in the nascent crypto space. 

It offered convenience for traders along with the benefits of faster transaction times and lower fees compared to traditional finance. 

This article may pique your interest:  Spot Trading in Crypto - A Comprehensive Guide


Start Trading Now


The Role and Function of Tether

Tether aims to fulfil several functions in the cryptocurrency ecosystem:

  • Price Stability - By pegging its value to the US dollar, Tether is designed to avoid the volatility typically seen with cryptocurrencies. This allows it to function as a temporary store of stable value.
  • Liquidity - Tether facilitates more effortless money flow between cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies like the US dollar. Its liquidity makes it useful for crypto trades and transactions.
  • Payments - Some online merchants and services accept USDT as a payment method, given its stability versus high-volatility cryptocurrencies.
  • Crypto Trading - Many exchanges rely on Tether for crypto-to-crypto trades. Its liquidity allows traders to quickly move between positions without exiting to fiat currency.
  • Blockchain Integration - As a cryptocurrency, Tether offers the speed and efficiency of blockchain-based token transfers. This bridges the gap between crypto assets and fiat stability.

Tether seeks to harness the benefits of both traditional currencies and cryptocurrencies. It provides stability, liquidity, and easy transfers between the two spheres. 


Controversies Around Tether’s USD Reserves


Documents with brass scale on the desk a gavel and a laptop


While Tether has been widely used, it has not been without its critics and controversies - particularly around whether it truly maintains adequate USD reserves to back all USDT in circulation.

Critics have argued that, without proper audits, Tether Holdings cannot prove each USDT is fully backed 1:1 with dollars. Concerns emerged during 2017’s crypto bull market when Tether printed billions of new USDT tokens worth billions of dollars.

Tether struggled to provide formal audits to allay fears that new USDT was being issued without sufficient reserves. In 2019, Tether Holdings admitted only about 74% of USDT was backed by cash and equivalents, despite their 1:1 claims.

Ongoing investigations and lawsuits have tried to determine if Tether manipulates USDT issuance to inflate Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices artificially. 

While no clear evidence has emerged, economists have argued that USDT printing and BTC price moves are highly correlated.

More recently, Tether has tried to improve transparency, working towards full audits of its reserves. It claims to now hold well over $69 billion in assets backing all circulating USDT. 

However, many still have doubts about Tether’s reserves and potential influence on the broader crypto market.


How Tether Impacts Bitcoin and Crypto Markets

As one of the most widely traded and used stablecoins, Tether has had observable effects on Bitcoin and broader cryptocurrency markets. 

Here are a few of the significant ways Tether impacts crypto:

1. Liquidity and Adoption

Tether has increased adoption and liquidity in the cryptocurrency ecosystem by facilitating fiat-to-crypto trading. 

Traders rely on USDT stable value transfers to enter and exit crypto positions efficiently.

2. Stable Value Parking


A man firmly holds a mobile phone displaying a security logo


During intense market fluctuations in the cryptocurrency industry, traders may temporarily invest their funds in Tether, which is considered a reliable and secure asset. 


This strategy of ‘parking’ money in Tether can significantly impact the crypto market’s overall movement and affect trading volumes.

3. Binance Trading Volumes

Tether is responsible for driving a substantial portion of trading volumes on popular cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance. 

This creates a certain level of centralization in price discovery and the overall influence wielded by these exchanges.

4. Bitcoin Correlation

Research and studies have revealed a significant association between the circulation of new USDT (Tether) and the escalation of Bitcoin prices

Nevertheless, whether the correlation implies that Tether directly impacts BTC’s value fluctuations remains uncertain.

5. Questionable Reserves

It is crucial to ensure that Tether, a stablecoin, maintains full reserves. The consequences of a potential USDT value crash could be severe, as it could disrupt the liquidity of broader crypto markets that heavily depend on it. 

Therefore, it is essential to closely monitor the reserve levels of Tether to prevent any potential ripple effects that could arise from its instability.

While Tether brings beneficial liquidity and stability to crypto, its lack of transparency and regulation also introduces new risks. 

Tether’s growth and influence have made the stablecoin a systemically important part of the Bitcoin and crypto ecosystems.

Here’s an interesting read for you: Investing in Bitcoin vs Altcoins


In conclusion

Tether emerged as an early attempt to match the benefits of blockchain technology and crypto assets with the stability of fiat currency values like the US dollar. 

Its convenience and liquidity have led USDT to become widely adopted in the trading and use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Tether shows both the potential of stablecoins to aid crypto adoption and the risks associated with stable assets lacking adequate transparency and auditing. 

As regulators continue eyeing stablecoins in 2024 and beyond, Tether must evolve and embrace greater transparency to prove its stability and retain its pivotal role in digital asset markets. 

Tether can provide stability not just for traders but also for future crypto innovation.

Ready to trade with Creating an account is easy.

“When considering “CFDs” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.”

Related Education Articles

How to trade on the commodity of crude oil

Tuesday, 16 April 2024


How Do You Trade in Crude Oil?

Gold Standard

Monday, 15 April 2024


The Gold Standard: A Historical and Its Modern Implications

How To Apply Proper Research On Stocks

Monday, 15 April 2024


How to apply proper research on Stocks

How to open a free demo account

Wednesday, 10 April 2024


How to open a free demo account

Live Chat