Tether, otherwise known as USDT, is a cryptocurrency built on the Bitcoin blockchain (via Omni Layer) and founded by a Hong Kong-based company, Tether Limited. Tether is anchored to the US dollar, where every tethered cryptocurrency issued in circulation is backed by a 1:1 ratio by US dollars. Buying USDT is easy through a variety of exchanges, so we’ve compared 20+ to help you find the right fit.
Where to buy USDT
Tether is widely accepted throughout the cryptocurrency world. You can find it on almost every exchange and buy it with almost every other cryptocurrency or fiat currency. Compare exchanges by deposit method and cryptocurrency support to find the right fit:
A step-by-step guide to buying USDT
Here’s how to buy Tether (USDT):
Step 1. Create an account at an exchange listing USDT
Look for an exchange that lists USDT in one or more currency pairings, and sign up with your email address and a password. Compare exchanges when buying USDT to find the lowest fees and freshest exchange rates.
- Note: Many exchanges also require your full name, contact information and proof of ID before allowing you to trade.
Step 2. Deposit funds into your account
If your exchange supports Tether you’ll be able to buy USDT directly with SGD. Some exchanges charge varying fees depending on the amount of USDT you’re buying, so pay attention to the cost of your transaction.
- Note: Some payment methods have higher fees, with credit card payments usually being the most expensive.
Step 3. Buy USDT
Navigate to the markets section on your chosen exchange to find your desired USDT pairing. Look for the section on buying USDT, and type in the amount of the paired cryptocurrency you want to spend or the amount of USDT you want to buy.
- Note: Carefully review your transaction details — including the amount of USDT you’re buying and the total cost of the purchase — before completing the transaction.
How to sell USDT
The process is similar to step 3 above, except you would opt for the option that allowed you to sell USDT or buy the cryptocurrency or fiat currency you want to exchange it with.
Which wallets can I use to hold USDT?
There are different types of Tethers, each requiring a different type of wallet. Sending the wrong type of Tethers to the wrong kind of wallet will result in a loss of funds.
Read our guide on Tether wallets to see what each type of Tether is, how to find out which type you have and how to choose the right wallet.
What are the uses of USDT?
USDT was designed so that the US dollar could be digitised and used on the blockchain by financial businesses, such as cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, payment processors and financial services. Some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, such as HitBTC and Poloniex, have already integrated USDT into their systems and use it as one of their primary cryptocurrencies; USDT has several pairings, meaning that it can be used to purchase several other cryptocurrencies.
USDT was conceived to give companies an alternative to the traditional processes involved in exchanging and depositing fiat currency. Its team aims to help businesses manage customers’ assets through using cryptocurrency processes while enabling them to settle fiat balances between exchanges. This means that companies can exchange cryptocurrency funds faster, bypassing the process of converting in and out fiat currencies through the banking system.
Additionally, in January 2018, Tether Limited issued USDT and EURT as Ethereum-based tokens compatible with the ERC20 standard. This innovation was designed to give the new Tether faster confirmation time and lower network fees.
Tether currencies and fiat currencies
Tether currencies are often denoted by the ₮ symbol; for example, USDT can be signified as USD₮ and Tether EUR (EURT) can also be signified as EUR₮. Tether Limited states that to keep the Tether pegged to fiat currencies, the balance of fiat currencies held in its reserves will be equal to or greater than the Tethers in circulation. This is called a proof-of-reserve process.
To find out more about USDT, check out our introductory guide.
What should I consider if I want to buy USDT?
If you are thinking about buying Tether or any other cryptocurrency, it’s recommended that you understand the risks involved. Here are some facts to consider if you are thinking about buying USDT:
- USDT use. USDT is mostly used on cryptocurrency exchanges to trade and buy other cryptocurrencies, but the company behind Tether hopes to make USDT the virtual equivalent of USD.
- Availability. USDT is available on several crypto exchanges and can be bought with fiat currencies directly or even through a credit card.
- Risk. In its white paper, the Tether company claims there are several risks involved in the use of USDT. For example, the company could go bankrupt, its funds could be frozen or its bank could go bankrupt. If this happens, USDT could become useless, as there might be no fiat currency backing their value.
- ERC20 compatibility. In January 2018, USDT was issued by Tether Limited as an Ethereum-based token, which means it is compatible with the ERC20 standard and can be stored in wallets that support this.
- USDT stolen from Tether. In November 2017, more than 30 million tokens were stolen from the official Tether Treasury wallet.
- Bitfinex and Tether controversy.Tether Limited, the company that created USDT, is allegedly closely affiliated with the Bitfinex exchange. While Tether Limited claims that Tethers in circulation are backed up by fiat currency reserves, it discontinued relationships with auditors who were supposed to verify this claim. This incident has led to speculation and uncertainty about whether USDT is securely backed up by US dollar reserves.
- Market competition. There are other cryptocurrencies pegged to the US dollar in one way or another. The most popular of them are Steem Dollar, NuBits and BitUSD.
Once you have considered these factors and used this as a starting point for your own research, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about buying USDT.
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.