Tether is a cryptocurrency token created by a company called Tether Ltd. It’s part of the Bitfinex trading platform and was created to sit on top of the Omni Layer digital currency protocol, working on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Tether was designed to offer a stable resource to cryptocurrency traders and holders, and it purports to achieve this by being “tethered” to the value of the US dollar. This means that it’s hopefully not subject to the same volatility as other cryptocurrencies.
Despite this apparent advantage, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission are not convinced that it’s legal. It has subpoenaed Tether and Bitfinex, despite the fact that Tether Ltd has stated that the token isn’t a financial instrument, and that owners of the coins have no guarantees or legal claims against losses.
Controversy aside, Tether token enjoys a good degree of popularity and is present on many exchanges (the crypto to crypto only ones) as their principal stablecoin. There are now $2.8 billion were the Tethers in circulation. During the summer of 2018 approximately 80% of Bitcoin volume was traded in Tethers.