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What Is Tether?

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Cryptocurrencies have been dominating business news for the past few years. While Bitcoin and Ethereum and Tesla  (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk's favorite Dogecoin are some of the popular cryptocurrencies, Tether is another cryptocurrency to look out for. 

You may be surprised to know that Tether is actually the world’s third-biggest cryptocurrency by market value. 

Launched as “Realcoin” in July 2014, trading of Tether tokens ~ under the USDT symbol ~ started in February 2015. Unlike the extremely volatile nature of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, its price is usually equivalent to $1.

Its maker says that Tether protects its users from cryptocurrency volatility because "they are anchored or ‘tethered’ to real-world currencies on a 1-to-1 basis and backed by our reserves."

Tether has also been embroiled in a few controversies. In April 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a court order against Tether under investigation for fraud

“Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds,” said Attorney General James. “New York state has led the way in requiring virtual currency businesses to operate according to the law. And we will continue to stand-up for investors and seek justice on their behalf when misled or cheated by any of these companies.” 

In June 2021, TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer said he was also worried about Tether following China's crackdown on Bitcoin

Related: Tether: Why Jim Cramer Is ‘Very Worried’

Binance, CoinSpot, BitFinex, and Kraken are some of the cryptocurrency exchanges that support Tether trading

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