Tether Gains Popularity as Payment Method

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There have been lots of debates regarding the legitimacy of Tether (USDT) as a stable means of payments as well as its speculated involvement in the manipulation of the prices of digital currencies. Despite this, the digital currency has been growing with a decent number of merchants now accepting it as a preferred means of stability. This is largely because of its unmatched stability.

As it stands, Tether occupies the fourth spot in the United States’ crypto market. This means that it is already highly regarded as a stablecoin and therefore its rise to the top should not be as much of a surprise. Over the past year, merchants who are using the digital currency have recorded a significant increase in Tether volumes over the past year.

According to CoinPayments.net, one of the world’s largest digital currency payment processors, Tether currently accounts for up to 30 percent of the volume of transactions it processes. In comparison, a year ago the volume of Tether transactions was 30 times less than what has been recently reported. The consistency in Tether’s meteoric rise has been quite consistent across a number of other cryptocurrency payment processors as well.

Why Now?

Well, unlike other digital currencies, Tether burst into the scene with the promise of living up to the stablecoin objective. The digital currency avoided fluctuations and instead opted for at least a one-to-one ratio with the US dollar by managing a reserve.

This feature made it quite popular and many merchants would often accept payments in other digital currencies such as Bitcoin and convert it to Tether in order to “hedge against the volatility” of other cryptocurrencies. The over 265 companies that accept payments in Tether has since switched and are now taking Tether payments directly.

What It Means for Other Digital Currencies

While Tether’s use in commerce is definitely a positive development for the crypto community, its growth has had a rather negative impact on other digital currencies especially the ones considered to be market leaders such as Ether and Bitcoin. Owing to several factors, Bitcoin and Ether have lost their appeal among many investors and due to the rapidly shifting dynamics of the crypto industry, a lot of focus is being given to alternative crypto solutions.

Moreover, there is a need for more accessible digital currency solutions in such areas as gambling and other adult product like cannabis and sex dolls. Tether has caught up and its stability is making many other digital currencies seem like raw deals for many customers. Perhaps this is the beginning of its ascension to the top of the crypto market.

Facebook’s Libra and How Its Redefines Enterprise Blockchain

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In mid-June 2018, globally renowned tech company Facebook finally revealed Facebook Libra following several long months of preparation and development. As expected, the launch represents a plethora of possibilities for the crypto and blockchain space which is definitely not going to be the same again.

What It Does

Facebook Libra will deliver on one of the most notable features of other digital currencies, that is, it will allow its users to make purchases and send money to other people with close to zero fees. Users will also be able to pseudonymously cash out the digital currency online or at local exchanges points such as grocery stores. They will then be able to spend the Libra using interoperable third-party wallets apps or the company’s Calibra wallet which will not only have a standalone app but will also be built into Messenger and even WhatsApp.

During the announcement, Facebook released its whitepaper explaining the digital currency and its testnet in order to get everyone up to speed with everything before its public launch early next year. From what we have been able to gather so far, so many things about the digital currency already look very promising.

How It Will Work

Facebook will not have full control over Libra and instead, it will only have a single vote on the governance of the cryptocurrency and so will other founding members of the Libra Association who include Uber, Visa as well as Andreessen Horowitz. Each of these companies has reportedly invested no less than $10 million on various aspects of the Libra project.

Going forward, the Libra Association will be promoting the open-source Libra Blockchain and developer platform with its Move programming language. In addition to that, it will also be signing up various businesses to the platform.

Furthermore, Facebook is also set to launch a subsidiary company that will be responsible for handling crypto dealings and protecting the privacy of the users – this will be achieved by ensuring that Facebook user data never mingles with the Libra payments. In essence, your real identity will not be tied to your Libra payments with the goal being to ensure that the information is used for targeted advertising.

Why Is It Such A Big Deal?

Well, why wouldn’t it be? Facebook is one of the leading tech companies on the planet and the fact that it is embracing crypto and blockchain technology was definitely bound to generate some buzz. That aside, the company did not just announce another blockchain protocol – these have become commonplace these days. The company has instead chosen to focus on banking its unbanked users (close to 1.7 billion people). This is certainly not an easy task but if there is anyone that can do it, it’s Facebook thanks largely to the resources it has. Besides, it is going to be a very rewarding venture for the company down the line.