Tether (USDT) is the original stablecoin. The Tether whitepaper was first released back in 2012, although the token itself didn’t find widespread use until it was adopted by the exchange Bitfinex in 2015.
At a time when it was difficult for cryptocurrency exchanges to find reliable banking and fiat currency partners, Tether offered a way around the roadblock for the growing crypto industry. Offering a token that Tether claimed was backed 1:1 with actual US dollars, users could trade USDT without the fiat currency itself having to go anywhere.
Cut to 2022 and the stablecoin market is booming, with almost US$150 billion of USD-pegged coins in circulation. But Tether remains the biggest player by far, accounting for more than 50% of the market and essentially functioning as the crypto world’s reserve currency.
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