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What Is Tether (USDT)? The World’s Biggest Stablecoin

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In brief

  • Tether is a stablecoin, a type of cryptocurrency that is designed to be pegged to a given currency.
  • Its USDT cryptocurrency claims to be backed 1-to-1 by the U.S. dollar, though critics have questioned whether it is fully backed by cash reserves.

It can be difficult for investors to hold cryptocurrencies. Many are incredibly volatile.

To critics of cryptocurrencies—like China’s major payment institutions—this price volatility makes them poorly suited to being actual currencies because their value can change quickly, making an agreed price hard to come by.

That’s where a cryptocurrency like Tether (USDT) comes in. It’s designed to enable users to navigate the crypto industry without being exposed to unpredictable prices.

What is Tether?

Tether is a type of cryptocurrency known as a stablecoin.

Stablecoins are designed to be pegged to a given currency; in the case of Tether’s main USDT cryptocurrency, the U.S. dollar. Tether claims that every token is backed by a dollar held in its reserves; the value of the token is kept stable by bots buying and selling whenever its value fluctuates from the dollar.

In a nutshell, Tether is meant to work as follows; whenever a user deposits a US dollar to Tether’s account, Tether Inc—the company behind Tether the stablecoin—mints one Tether in return.

Tether is also available for the euro, and Japanese yen.

Who created Tether?

Tether Limited developed the cryptocurrency towards the end of 2014, under the name “Realcoin” prior to its rebranding as Tether.

Based in the British Virgin Islands—a jurisdiction known for its lax regulations—the company’s head offices are in Hong Kong. It shares most of its management team with the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, including its CEO, chief strategy officer, and general counsel.

What can you do with Tether?

Tether is widely accepted on most crypto exchanges and can be used to easily purchase cryptocurrencies. It is frequently used by traders and investors as a way to maintain a stable store of value while still holding a position in the market.

It is also a popular asset for the exchanges themselves. Tether trading pairs are a common way to denominate prices in fiat currency, which most people can more readily understand. As many exchanges find it impossible to set up a fiat bank account, some have resorted to holding their funds in Tether tokens.

Did you know?

One of Tether’s founders, Brock Pierce, starred in multiple Disney films when he was a child actor in the early 1990s.

A brief history

  • July 2014 – Realcoin, a token backed by the US dollar, launches.
  • November 2014 – Realcoin rebrands to Tether and enters private beta.
  • January 2015 – Bitfinex lists Tether.
  • February 2015 – Tether begins trading.
  • December 2017 – The Tether supply surpasses one billion tokens.
  • June 2018 – An academic study is published suggesting Tether can be printed “regardless of investor demand.”
  • April 2019 – The New York Attorney General’s Office sues iFinex—Tether’s parent company—for allegedly using USDT to cover $850 million in lost funds.
  • July 2020 – Tether’s market cap hits $10 billion.
  • December 2020 – Tether’s market cap hits $20 billion.
  • February 2021 – Tether and Bitfinex settle with the New York Attorney General’s Office for $18.5 million.
  • February 2021 – Tether’s market cap hits $30 billion.
  • April 2021 – Tether expands to Polkadot and its market cap hits $43 billion.
  • May 2021 – Tether reveals its reserves breakdown for the first time since 2014.
  • May 2021 – Tether’s market cap hits $60 billion.

What’s so special about Tether?

  • 🗿 Stable – Tether claims to be backed by fiat currency. That means holders aren’t subjected to the same high levels of volatility found in other cryptocurrencies. It gives users easy access to the cryptocurrency market, without exposure to wild price fluctuations.
  • 📭 Widely accepted – Tether is a popular cryptocurrency that can be bought and sold on most exchanges. Many exchanges use it as a trading pair.
  • 🐻 Familiar – Being backed by international currencies makes Tether’s value intuitive; useful for traders purchasing other cryptocurrencies with it.

How is Tether produced?

Unlike most cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Tether isn’t “mined.” Instead, Tether Limited generates new tokens and issues them via crypto exchange Bitfinex following fiat currency being deposited into its reserves. Tether can be bought at most crypto exchanges.

How does Tether work?

Tether is based on something called the Omni layer. This is a meta-protocol built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain that allows projects to create and trade their own currencies. Tether tokens started to be issued on Omni software layer for the Litecoin blockchain in the summer of 2017.

There are also Ethereum-based Tethers built using the ERC-20 standard.

Did you know?

A research paper published in June 2018 accused Tether Limited and Bitfinex of artificially inflating the price of Bitcoin in December 2017. Tether and Bitfinex have denied these accusations.

What is Tether backed by?

Tether is—by far—the most widely accepted and traded crypto asset around. According to CoinGecko, Tether’s current 24-hour trading volume is over $101 billion. Coming in a distant second is Bitcoin, with a 24-hour trading volume of under $42 billion.

Tether’s broad reach and penetration into the crypto market rest on its claims to be backed 1:1 by the US dollar; claims that have been repeatedly called into question by, among others, the New York Attorney General’s Office, which fought a lengthy court battle against Bitfinex and Tether.

In February 2021, both Bitfinex and Tether agreed to stop all trading activity in New York as part of a settlement announced by the New York Attorney General Letitia James. Both firms also agreed to pay nearly $19 million in fines.

“Bitfinex and Tether recklessly and unlawfully covered-up massive financial losses to keep their scheme going and protect their bottom lines,” Attorney General James said, adding, “Tether’s claims that its virtual currency was fully backed by US dollars at all times was a lie.”

As part of the settlement, Tether was required to release regular reports on its business, including details of its funds held as reserves. In May 2021, Tether released the first of those reports, in which it revealed that 76% of its reserves were held in “cash or cash equivalents”, with the remaining portion held in secured loans, bonds and other investments—including Bitcoin. Of the 76%, commercial paper and fiduciary deposits made up 65% and 25% respectively; the figures indicated that less than 3% of Tether’s reserves were held in cash.

Pie charts
Tether’s reserves as of March 31, 2021. Image: Tether

Tether’s general counsel, Stuart Hoegner, said it is “misleading to focus only on cash” when these reserves were revealed. He added that, “Readers should not confuse items not in ‘actual cash’ with a lack of liquidity.”

Tether and Bitcoin: why the concern?

That said, there is some uncertainty surrounding Tether, particularly regarding whether every single Tether can, in fact, be redeemed 1-to-1 for a U.S. dollar.

Tether’s critics remain unconvinced that its token is fully backed by cash reserves; in the past, its most vocal critics have claimed that the company was allegedly minting coins out of thin air. If true, that would present a serious problem for Bitcoin.

The concern is that Tether—which now has a market cap of over $60 billion—props up the price of Bitcoin. Academics John M. Griffin and Amin Shams argued in 2018 that Tether could be printed “regardless of the demand from investors,” concluding that Tether’s printing schedule was consistent only with a coin that was partially backed, not fully backed, by reserves.

“The real story here is that less than 3% of Tether’s reserves now consist of cash,” said Amy Castor, a journalist who focuses on issues surrounding Tether. Accusing Tether of “printing money out of thin air,” Castor added that, “The reckoning will come when people try to cash out of bitcoin, and it dawns on them there is no real money in the system to support withdrawals, because the markets were based on funny money.”

But there are two sides to the debate.

Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX, has previously pushed back against criticism of Tether, pointing to the fact that it is possible to redeem USDT for US dollars.

“Like, I don’t know what to tell you, you can, and we do,” he tweeted in January of this year.

There is also a common counter-argument levelled against Tether’s critics that Tether’s printing schedule is entirely uncorrelated to Bitcoin’s price. In fact, new Tethers have been minted both amidst Bitcoin bull runs and price crashes—as outlined in an April 2021 paper from UC Berkeley.

The Future

Tether has proven itself to be a useful tool for the cryptocurrency community, with investors quick to buy in downturns as a way to protect themselves from market down slides. It continues to be popular, with tokens sometimes changing hands more than once a day. This has made Tether a useful source of liquidity for the market, which helps to keep prices stable.

Tether’s future will rely on whether it can maintain market confidence; were its critics to be proved right, a loss of confidence could lead to insolvency for many cryptocurrency exchanges who use it to store value.

Source: https://decrypt.co/5704/tether-2

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Riot reveals planned changes to weaken Lillia’s early game, buff durability and scaling

She’ll still be a scary threat when the mid-to-late game rolls around.

The post Riot reveals planned changes to weaken Lillia’s early game, buff durability and scaling appeared first on Dot Esports.

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Many people know Lillia as League of Legends‘ resident Bashful Bloom in the jungle, where she has made a name for herself among pro play and solo queue play alike. However, Riot Games has detailed some changes for the champion that will pull back some power from her early game to make room for more durability and late game power.

Game designer Daniel “Maxw3ll” Emmons gave the players a general overview of some of the planned adjustments, which consisted of giving her Q ability a regeneration effect while dealing damage-over-time, while also getting more base damage, and an AP scaler.

On the other hand, the developers are looking to nerf how much movement speed Lillia gains from her Blooming Blows ability in the early portions of the game, while also increasing the cooldown on her Swirlseed. Her ability to whack people with her Q, then dance around them with her increased speed made her so annoying to deal with pre-level six. She will also be getting a nerf to her ultimate, Lilting Lullaby, but that change hasn’t been detailed just yet.

The goal for these changes is to make her more widespread towards solo queue, instead of just being a pro play focused champion. Currently, Lillia has a 42.7 percent win rate in ranks Platinum and above, according to Champion.GG, but she was one of the most played junglers in the LCS, LEC, LPL, and LCK during the 2021 Spring Split. By making her more durable, the early game clears will be a lot more forgiving for players who are as efficient with her movement speed and damage.

Lillia hasn’t seen much play during the start of the 2021 Summer Split across major regions, with junglers like Rumble, Xin Zhao, and Udyr rising up in priority again. It’ll be interesting to see if these adjustments will help her in terms of her success in solo queue as the changes settle in.

Source: https://dotesports.com/league-of-legends/news/riot-reveals-planned-changes-to-weaken-lillias-early-game-buff-durability-and-scaling

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Rocket League Championship Series X Championships begin tomorrow

Four regions, four brackets, $1 million.

The post Rocket League Championship Series X Championships begin tomorrow appeared first on Dot Esports.

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The Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) X Championships are about to begin, with round one kicking off at 10am CT on June 15, with 16 teams competing for their share of $1 million in overall prizing.

Matches will run through June 20, with the final day featuring the European and North American finals. 

The event will take place over four different regions, EU, NA, Oceania, and South America, though Oceania and SA will only feature the two top teams from each region facing off in a single best-of-seven series. EU and NA will have six teams each, competing in a full playoff bracket. 

Here are all of the teams competing within each of the regional competitions. 

Europe

  • Team BDS
  • Team Vitality
  • Top Blokes
  • Guild Esports
  • Solary
  • Team Queso

North America

  • NRG Esports
  • Team Envy
  • Spacestation Gaming
  • Rogue
  • G2 Esports
  • FaZe Clan

Oceania

  • Ground Zero Gaming
  • Cringe Society

South America

  • True Neutral
  • FURIA

The SA and Oceania finals will run on June 19, with a special 3v3 show match scheduled to showcase some talented Japanese players acting as a break between the two. 

You can learn more about the tournament format, prizing, and the full schedule on the official Rocket League website. All of the matches will be streamed live on the main Rocket League Twitch channel.

Source: https://dotesports.com/rocket-league/news/rocket-league-championship-series-x-championships-begin-tomorrow

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Razer reveals AMD-based Blade 14 at E3 keynote

The best of both worlds.

The post Razer reveals AMD-based Blade 14 at E3 keynote appeared first on Dot Esports.

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After years of Intel-based releases, Razer unveiled its first AMD-powered laptop with the Blade 14 at E3 2021.

Razer is bringing back the Blade 14 after a lengthy three-year absence, and with it, a new partnership with AMD. The Blade 14 features an eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 9 5900HX unlocked processor with a base clock of 3.3GHz that boosts up to 4.6GHz. AMD’s processors power some of the strongest gaming laptops on the market, like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and ROG Strix series. The ROG Strix series features the HX-class processor found in the Blade 14, while the more comparable G14 features an HS-class processor.

Aside from its new partnership with AMD, Razer is implementing Nvidia’s RTX 3080 GPU and a 165Hz QHD display into the Blade 14. There are three different models of this laptop. The base version ships with the Ryzen 9 5900HX, an RTX 3060, and an FHD 144Hz display. Moving up the line, Razer offers two models with a 165Hz QHD display with the same 5900HX processor. The only difference between the two QHD models is one features the RTX 3070, and the other offers the RTX 3080.

Razer packs all of this power into an impressively slim 14-inch laptop that follows the same Blade design language fans have become accustomed to. Along with the familiar design comes a wide feature set including upgradable storage from 1TB, Chroma RGB, 16GB DDR4-3200MHz RAM, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, several USB connections, DisplayPort 1.4, and HDMI 2.1.

Each model of the Razer 14 runs $1,799, $2,199, and $2,799, respectively.

Despite its new partnership with AMD, Razer still offers its newest Intel-based Blade laptops.

The Blade 14 is available now. For more information, fans can visit the official Razer Store.

Source: https://dotesports.com/hardware/news/razer-reveals-amd-based-blade-14-at-e3-keynote

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