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Bitcoin not the World’s Most Used Cryptocurrency

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October 1, 2019 | 

2428 Views | 

Darryn Pollock | 

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Bitcoin has always been heralded as the biggest, best, and most popular cryptocurrency seen across the world. It is unsurprising when its market cap is so high, its dominance out performances other by miles, and it has been around the longest. 

However, it has emerged that Bitcoin, as a useful currency-like coin, is not the most popular crypticurrency of choice. In fact, Tether, the controversial stable coin tied to the US Dollar seems to be the most popular traded cryptcurrency due to its low volatility. 

Bitcoin may be besting most other coins in all metrics, but when it comes to the daily and monthly trading volume it is Tether that comes out on top, besting Bitcoin and showing just what a low volatile cryptucrrency can be used for.

It is probably not to surprising given that Bitcoin has, in the more recent past, been seen as a digital gold, and investible asset, and that spending it could leave investors in a situation where they lose out on potential big gains. Bitcoin has fluctuated by 8- percent in the last two years alone and that would be wasted if spent. 

On the other hand, Tether is pegged to the US dollar so one coin is equivilant to one dollar and there is no fluctuating. Thus, the initial inteded purpose of a cryptocurrency can be seen in Tether making it an idea candiate for trading. 

Almost 20 percent more

A look at the facts and figures on daily trading between Bitcoin and Tether shows that Bitcoin is some 18 percent less traded than the stablecoin month by month. However, while this is surprising given Bitcoin’s popularity, it isalso concerining as Tether is one of the reasons the cryptocurrency space is under such scruitiny.

Tether has a controversial past as for it to be truley pegged to the US dolalr there has to be a 1:1 ratioof actual dollars stored for every Tether. There was controversy about an audit on Tether, and then it emerged that they we wrong in making this claim of a 1:1 ratio. In May this year, Tether finally admitted it was not fully backed by the amout of dollars, essentially meanign it was creating imagionary money.

“If there is no Tether, we lose a massive amount of daily volume -- around $1 billion or more depending on the data source,” said Lex Sokolin, global financial technology co-head at ConsenSys, which offers blockchain technology. “Some of the concerning potential patters of trading in the market may start to fall away.”

A good alternative

In countries like China, where crypto exchanges are banned, people can pay cash over the counter to get Tethers with few questions asked, according to Sokolin. From there, they can trade Tethers for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, he said.

“For many people in Asia, they like the idea that it’s this offshore, opaque thing out of reach of the U.S. government,” said Jeremy Allaire, chief executive officer of Circle, which supports a rival stablecoin called USD Coin. “It’s a feature, not a problem.”
 

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