Tether (USDT) holders are moving into alternate coins, as USDT has been trading down as much as 2.59% over the past 24 hours, while Bitcoin (BTC) and the top altcoins started moving in the other direction with BTC rising sharply in early-morning trading on Monday, spiking to over $7,000.
Allegedly backed 1:1 by the US dollar, Tether touched $.85 on Kraken and $.96 on Binance, according to data by CoinMarketCap, while Bitcoin broke from its $6,250 range to soar above $7,000. Shortly after 3:00 a.m. EST, Bitcoin was trading on Binance for $7,390 with a 24-hour high of $7,680.
Following Bitcoin’s sharp Monday morning spike, crypto exchanges OKEx and KuCoin announced listings for additional stablecoins. OKEx, currently the second-largest exchange by volume for Tether and the third-largest for Bitcoin, listed TrueUSD (TUSD), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Paxos Standard Token (PAX) and USD Coin (USDC), the stablecoin from Goldman Sachs’-backed startup Circle.
KuCoin announced listings for Paxos, TrueUSD and USDC.
Tether, the most dominant stablecoin in the crypto markets, continues to be a controversial stablecoin as many analysts, researchers and industry leaders have doubted the cash deposits that allegedly peg USDT to the US dollar.
Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum and founder of ConsenSys, does believe that Tether is backed by the dollar but still doubts its long-term strength.
“Based on our analysis, which involves just talking to a bunch of people in the space, we do believe that Tethers are backed 1:1 by US dollars in bank accounts. But it’s still not 100% solid in terms of a story, from my perspective.
I expect many other price-stable tokens will arise and take its place.”
Detractors have not stopped Tether and its supporters from propelling it into a top digital asset. As one of the most traded coins, it accounts for nearly 25% of all crypto trades in the past 24 hours, surpassed only by Bitcoin.
BTC and Tether Dominance
Phil Potter, the chief strategy officer for Tether and cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, who stirred concerns about a conflict of interest between the two entities, stepped down from his roles at both companies in June.
Without further disruptions, Timothy Tam, co-founder and CEO of CoinFi, a cryptocurrency research firm, tells Bloomberg he believes the issues surrounding Tether are “probably a bit of paranoia” and that “this will all clear up relatively soon.”
Meanwhile Bitfinex, which temporarily paused fiat deposits “for certain customer accounts in the face of processing complications,” issued a statement on Monday that fiat deposits and withdrawals for USD, GBP, JPY and EUR are all functioning normally.
— Bitfinex (@bitfinex) October 15, 2018
As for Bitcoin’s volatility, it is currently trading at $6,675 at time of writing, retaining gains from the recent spike.