The world’s most widely used cryptocurrency is Tether (USDT) and not Bitcoin (BTC), this according to a BNN Bloomberg report published October 1, 2019. Citing data from the cryptocurrency analytics website CoinMarketCap.com, the report claims that USDT is the highest weekly and monthly traded digital currency.
USDT Trumps BTC
Whilst Bitcoin continues to remain the poster boy of the rather young cryptocurrency industry, it is perhaps interesting that, in fact, it is not the most traded cryptocurrency on the planet. The honor of having the highest trading volume goes to USDT, a stablecoin launched by a Hong Kong-based private firm which also happens to own major cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.
Per the report, USDT trading volume is more than 30 times higher than its total market capitalization. Further, in April 2019, USDT was able to surpass BTC’s trading volume for the first time ever. Extracted data also suggests that since August 2019, USDT has witnessed a daily trading volume of approximately $21 billion per day.
That said, it’s worthy of note as to what exactly makes USDT such a hot commodity in an industry that is notorious for its volatility. Lex Sokolin, Global Financial Technology Co-Head, ConsenSys, said:
“If there is no Tether, we lose a massive amount of daily volume — around $1 billion or more depending on the data source. Some of the concerning potential patters of trading in the market may start to fall away.”
A Volatile History
Despite the fact that today USDT is the most traded digital currency in existence, things haven’t always exactly been transparent when it comes to the inner and background functioning of the Tether.
As reported by BTCManager on April 25, 2019, the Office of New York Attorney General (NYAG) had accused Bitfinex and Tether of mishandling client funds to cover a mammoth business loss of about $850 million.
Commenting on Tether’s shady track record, Thaddeus Dryja, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said:
“I don’t think people actually trust Tether — I think people use Tether without realizing that they are using it, and instead think they have actual dollars in a bank account somewhere. Some exchanges mislabel their pages, to convey the impression that customers are holding dollars instead of Tethers.”
In recent Tether development, BTCManager informed its audience that the crypto firm is set to launch a Chinese Yuan-pegged stablecoin “CNHT.”