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What is Tether (USDT)?

Everything you need to know about Tether, the blockchain bridge between digital currencies and fiat.

Tether aims to provide a simple interface for businesses and individuals to access a blockchain-based cryptocurrency that is always valued at a 1-to-1 ratio with the US dollar.

Learn more Buy Tether (USDT)

Tether and Bitfinex controversy

Tether is created by a company called Tether Limited, and is closely affiliated with the Bitfinex exchange.

There are currently over 2 billion USDT in circulation. The Tether company claims to have fiat currency reserves to back up all the Tethers in circulation, but there is no concrete evidence of this.

Tether recently and unexpectedly discontinued its relationship with the auditors that were going to verify this claim, causing uncertainty about whether USDT is securely backed by US dollar reserves.

Even though the cryptocurrency is pegged at US$1, Tether users should note that this price stability is largely dependent on Tether Limited actually being able to support the amount of Tether currently in circulation, and that a loss of value is still possible.

  • There is no concrete evidence of Tether Limited being able to support the value of USDT currently in circulation.
  • There is no concrete evidence of Tether Limited not being able to support the value of USDT currently in circulation.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

What is Tether?

IconSymbolInitial release dateAlgorithm typeMax. supply
USDT, ₮2014SHA-256444,951,082 USDT

Tether Limited, the company behind Tether tokens, keeps traditional fiat currencies, including dollars, euros and yen, in a reserve bank account. Using the infrastructure of the bitcoin blockchain, Tether promises to back its own digital tokens, called Tethers, with fiat currency.

If, for example, you put US$20 into your Tether wallet, you should have roughly 20 Tethers. Because Tether’s tokens are anchored, or “Tethered,” to real-world currencies, their value may be somewhat protected from the volatility of other cryptocurrencies. Some major features of Tether include:

  • Stability. Because Tethers are backed by a store of real-world currency, it claims that users can have the benefits of digital, blockchain-based transactions without being subject to the volatility of most cryptocurrencies.
  • Transparency. Tether claims that its fiat reserve account is regularly audited to verify that its reserve accounts can actually back up the value of Tethers in circulation. The balance is updated regularly and is publicly accessible at all times. Additionally, all Tether transactions are recorded on the public blockchain.
  • Minimal transaction fees. There are no transaction fees when sending money between two Tether accounts or any two blockchain-based wallets capable of storing Tether. However, converting Tethers back into fiat currency may require paying some service or transaction fees to the parent company.

How is Tether different from bitcoin?

Unlike bitcoin, Tether tokens are actually backed by reserves of fiat currency held by the company, Tether Limited. Bitcoin was designed largely to serve as an alternative to traditional currencies, operating on a peer-to-peer level outside of the scope of national borders and financial institutions. Tether, on the other hand, was designed specifically to integrate fiat currencies with the blockchain by converting physical cash into a digital asset.

Tether is issued on the bitcoin blockchain

Some developers choose to issue assets on the bitcoin blockchain. The Omni platform is an additional software layer that works on top of the core bitcoin code, making it possible to issue and trade digital assets on the bitcoin blockchain. Tether makes use of the Omni layer for deploying Tether tokens, meaning that Tether transactions are recorded on the bitcoin blockchain.

How to buy USDT

Tether tokens can be purchased on a number of popular cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitfinex and Kraken. While the value of Tether tokens is pegged to the US dollar, some exchanges do not offer direct USD/USDT pairings, and you will need to use bitcoin or another cryptocurrency to trade for Tether.

1 - 17 of 17
Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies
FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Wire transfer, Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), Signature SIGNET
USD,EUR,GBP,AUD,HKD,SGD,TRY,ZAR,CAD,CHF,BRL

260
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Sign up through Finder for a 5% discount on all trading fees. T&Cs apply.
FTX is an exchange built by traders for traders, with a range of derivatives markets such as options and futures with deep leverage, in addition to standard spot markets. Note: Not available for US customers.
Bitpanda Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cash, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Neteller, Bank transfer (SEPA), SOFORT
EUR, GBP, CHF, USD

83
cryptocurrencies

A European exchange which enables users to pay in EUR, GBP, CHF and USD through a variety of payment platforms.
Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH, PHP, CZK & 20+ more

367
cryptocurrencies

Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: As of September 2019, US-based users can only trade USD on the American dollar onramp of Binance, Binance.US.
UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading services, Binance offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
Kriptomat Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Neteller, SOFORT, Skrill, SEPA
EUR, USD, GBP, BGN, HRK, CZK, HUF, PLN, SEK, TRY

355
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Sign up with code FINDER15 and get EUR 15 in BTC the first time you spend over EUR 100. T&Cs apply.
Buy a large selection of cryptocurrencies instantly via credit card or bank account after registering. Store your crypto conveniently in Kriptomat's multi-currency wallet.
Changelly Crypto-to-Crypto Exchange
Credit card, Cryptocurrency
USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, MXN, HKD, RUB, NZD, SGD, JPY & 40+ more

156
cryptocurrencies

Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for 150+ cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.
Okcoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Okcoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Epay, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA, Prime X
USD, EUR, SGD

68
cryptocurrencies

Get $50 worth of BTC when you buy $3000 or more in crypto.
Buy, sell and earn cryptocurrency with this user-friendly exchange and smartphone app.
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA, Faster Payments (FPS)
USD, EUR, GBP

53
cryptocurrencies

A global cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates crypto to fiat transactions, where you can use EUR or USD to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins.
KuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, PayPal, Wire transfer, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA
USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, CNY, AUD, KRW, JPY, TRY, VND & 40+ more

575
cryptocurrencies

Finder exclusive: Sign up and use code 1xf56 for one month of VIP 1 benefits. Deposit/transfer more than 0.1 BTC to KuCoin within 7 days of registration for 1 month of VIP 2 benefits. T&Cs apply.
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
Gate.io Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, GBP, HKD, SGD, AUD, CHF, MXN

1070
cryptocurrencies

Finder exclusive: New users get $90 worth of Gate.IO points and an airdrop of $5 in GateTokens if trade volume exceeds $100 in their first week. T&Cs apply.
A feature-rich exchange with over 1,000 tokens including derivatives, yield farming and lending products.
CEX.IO Cryptocurrency Exchange
CEX.IO Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Credit card, Bank transfer (SEPA), Faster Payments Service, Skrill
USD, EUR, GBP, RUB

22
cryptocurrencies

Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK, DKK, CLP, BGN & 10+ more

168
cryptocurrencies

Get £5 free with your first trade. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell major cryptocurrencies on one of the world's most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges.
Crypto.com App
Crypto.com App
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, PayPal, TransferWise, SEPA
USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, JPY, ZAR & 9+ more

256
cryptocurrencies

Buy 240+ cryptocurrencies, earn up to 14.5% p.a. on holdings, pay with your crypto for cashback at stores, get loans and more with this complete crypto-finance platform.
Bittrex Global
Bittrex Global
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card
USD

288
cryptocurrencies

Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.
OKX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, iDEAL, PayPal, POLi, SEPA, Faster Payments (FPS)
USD, CNY, EUR, ARS, AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, COP & 20+ more

307
cryptocurrencies

Earn US$10 in BTC when you refer a friend and they purchase $100 of cryptocurrency. T&Cs apply.
Listing over 290 cryptocurrencies, OKX offers its users a variety of payment methods and coins to choose from.
Paybis Cryptocurrency Exchange
Paybis Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Neteller, Skrill, Credit or Debit Card
EUR, GBP, USD, AUD, CAD, PHP, SGD, CHF, HKD, JPY & 30+ more

405
cryptocurrencies

Buy Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies with credit card or debit card on this digital cryptocurrency exchange.

US residents: Restricted in the following states - NY, CT, NM, WA, HI, AL, VT, FL, AK, NV.
BC Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Broker
BC Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Broker
Credit card, Debit card, Faster Payments (FPS), BACS, Instant SEPA
GBP, EUR

193
cryptocurrencies

BC Bitcoin is a UK-based cryptocurrency brokerage that buys and sells more than 100 different cryptocurrencies.
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA, Faster Payments (FPS)
USD, EUR, GBP

53
cryptocurrencies

A global cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates crypto to fiat transactions, where you can use EUR or USD to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins.
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Can I make money with Tether?

Not really. Unlike most cryptocurrencies, whose values tend to fluctuate in relation to the market, Tether’s value is designed to reflect the value of the US dollar. By converting fiat currency into Tethers, you can participate in blockchain-based transactions without being subject to the volatility of other digital currencies. Because Tethers are created and issued by the company, Tether, in correlation to their fiat reserves, mining is not applicable to Tether.

Things you should know

  • First and foremost, it is important to be aware that buried within Tether’s extensive “Terms of Service” agreement is this statement: “There is no contractual right or other right or legal claim against us to redeem or exchange your Tethers for money. We do not guarantee any right of redemption or exchange of Tethers by us for money. There is no guarantee against losses when you buy, trade, sell, or redeem Tethers.”
    • While the core concept behind Tether tokens is that they are backed 100% by fiat reserves, users may want to exercise caution given that the company does not guarantee redemption of Tethers and is not formally liable to do so.
    • Between July 2017 and August 2017, the supply of Tethers rapidly increased by over US$100,000,000. Given that Tether claims to be backed by fiat reserves, this led some to question where that funding came from.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Image sources: Shutterstock

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