Everyone’s Talking About Tether – What is it? 3 2041

You’re comfortable with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple by now. You know the difference between transactional, platform, and utility and tokens. So, what’s all this talk about Tether? Tether (USDT) is a cryptocurrency that’s value mirrors that of the US dollar. This price parity places Tether in a new category all of its own called “Stable Coins” – ones that aren’t subject to high volatility.

Hop over to the website and they claim to convert cash into digital currency. They tether the value to not only to the US dollar, but to the price of other national currencies, like the Euro, Pound, and Yen.

Backed Up By USD

Just like your regular digital currency, Tether relies on the blockchain. Unlike all other cryptos, it claims to be “100% backed up by USD.” This basically means that for as many tokens exist, so do dollar bills. This allows it to enjoy a 1:1 parity.

So, if cryptocurrency inflation can be regulated by currencies like Tether, why would anyone subject themselves to the volatility and uncertainty of other cryptos? Because Tether isn’t without its problems. This cryptocurrency could open up a can of worms in an ecosystem in which currencies are decentralized and untethered.

The Problem with Tether

The fact that Tether is linked to the US dollar is concerning for many in the crypto world. They rely on its decentralized nature. In some ways, the crypto economy has now been tied (tethered) to a centralized dollar substitute.

Moreover, Bitfinex (the leading crypto exchange platform) also runs Tether. This is also counter to crypto philosophy.

If all of this sounds just a little bit sketchy, that’s because it might be. There is building speculation over the truth in the guarantee that the digital currency can be redeemed for USD and other fiat currencies at any time (“no matter what”). And also whether Tether really has the dollar bills to backup all its coins.

Although Tether uses the blockchain technology, it is no longer a decantazlied currency, or distributed smart contract, because it is run by a company. At the same time, Bitfinex is also not a a peer-to-peer, decentralized exchange, but a company. This is completely counter to the original goal of Bitcoin.

Accusations

Bitfinex has been accused of not having the same reserves of dollar bills as they have Tether tokens. And the fact that the exchange platform has been increasing their supplies in the last few months could be problematic. If this turns out to be true, there could be a crash in the market like never seen before, and has already resulted in a massive pullback in crypto in February.

Moreover, because people are treating Tether as the digital dollar, and buying other cryptocurrencies with it, that may have lead to the value of Bitcoin and other cryptos ballooning at the end of last year.

Stability

There’s always two side to every crypto coin. If you can get past the recent headlines and the other existing problems with Tether, it does offer some much needed stability to the crypto world. This alone could cause more investors to climb on board. Its steady value makes transactions easier to carry out. And its ability to be used to trade in most cryptos at the major exchanges is also very useful.

Despite the possible issues on the horizon which may or may not come to light, the currency has worked out quite well so far, being listed as one of the top 20 coins of early 2018. In an insecure landscape, it’s actually quite nice to have a coin that’s stable and not subject to such ravaging highs and lows.

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Christina is a technology and business communicator who has worked with high profile ICOs and blockchain influencers to break industry news.

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Stakester Brings New Experiences and Royalties to Gamers with NFTs Comments Off on Stakester Brings New Experiences and Royalties to Gamers with NFTs 493

A cheat code NFT allows owners to accrue money, prizes and royalties in the context of popular games.

On Tuesday, Stakester announced its intention to launch a VIP pass in the form of NFTs that it says will enhance the experience for users of its popular gaming app. 

The app, which pairs gamers with real-life opponents, allows players to stake real cash and prizes on their competitive skills in popular games like FIFA 21 and Call of Duty: Warzone. It’s seen significant growth since its launch in 2020, and touts 100,000 members across 31 countries. 

With the forthcoming NFT drop, users will now unlock the potential for larger prizes, access to VIP arenas, and 50% of royalties on the secondary market.

“The NFTs embody Stakester’s vision of delivering electrifying gaming experiences through the thrill of competition,” says Tom Fairey, Founder and CEO of Stakester. “NFT holders will help us shape new, undreamt-of entertainment experiences as gaming becomes ever more powerful and immersive.”

Two levels of NFTs will be offered. At .1 and .25 ETH, respectively, the barrier to entry is high, but Stakester is hoping gamers will see the value of layered experiences and unlocking additional incentives with real-world value. 

“The idea of earning rewards, just like a normal reward scheme but built around NFTs, is totally fit for the future,” says Mike White, CEO and Strategist of immersive entertainment marketing agency, Lively.  “The whole idea of royalties is truly exciting.” 

Stakester’s 50% royalty incentive, Fairey believes, will create stakeholders out of the players on his platform.

 “As well as the increase in gaming utility, the NFT drops provide Stakester users with a chance to invest in the future of the company and, for VIP Legendary holders, there’s also an opportunity to benefit from a royalty share from certain competitions and to make a passive income from NFTs, regardless of whether they go up in value or not,” he says. “Stakester is one of the only platforms to offer this kind of bonus.”

White points out that Gala Games is doing something similar with Nodes which allow gamers to receive rewards like NFTs when they contribute meaningfully to the Gala Network.

He predicts that legacy gaming companies will be adopting similar NFT models, but the winners in the NFT gaming race are hard to predict, particularly since there’s so much attention around NFTs that it’s hard to differentiate between hype and long-term value. 

“I’m sure it will be an immediate success,” he says. “Will it be a long-term thing? We can only wait and see.”

Why Is Everyone Talking About NFTs? Comments Off on Why Is Everyone Talking About NFTs? 120

In this writer’s opinion the NFT hype is warranted — but not for the reason most people are investing. 

For those who’ve been in the space since Bitcoin’s early surge, you’ll remember the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) boom of 2017. The crowdfunding vehicle, which mirrored an IPO on the public market, brought with it massive amounts of investment into the blockchain space that seemed to mirror Bitcoin’s rapidly increasing value. 

In retrospect, none of it made sense. 

With all the hype, the investment in the space didn’t match due diligence. As of August 2018, investors had lost nearly $100M in ICO exit scams, a major reason we no longer hear about ICOs. 

From there, crowdfunding through token sales was rebranded alongside SEC regulation as Security Token Offerings (STOs). Additional fundraising iterations to enter the scene are Initial DEX Offerings (IDOs) and Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs).

NFTs are having a similar moment to the immature and potentially reckless ICO market of 2017. The danger can be credited to a mix of hype and a widely unregulated environment with various points of entry and gatekeepers that are not incentivized to shore up fraud. 

As a result, many purchasers of NFTs are falling victim to a spectrum that spans undeserving projects on the mild end and outright scams at the extreme. Meanwhile, hackers are exploiting the unregulated environment. 

Just yesterday, $3 million in NFTs were stolen via an Instagram phishing scam. 

This writer, however, is still bullish on NFTs — just not the ones that are getting all the attention.

NFTs represent a concrete entry-point into the blockchain with a tangible utility and infinite disruptive implications. 

Here are a few.

Digital Assets as Social Proof 

As a Millennial, I personally have a hard time understanding the notion of owning and assigning value to a digital asset, but my kids don’t. 

I’ve written about how Gen Z has already adopted the concept of social proof in digital environments by assigning socially relevant value to digital assets like video game skins. 

As Gen Z ages and becomes an increasingly powerful consumer population, this experience will matter. Whether or not their purchase behavior translates to adulthood remains to be seen, but our kids are already leveraging digital assets in the metaverse to exhibit their position in the social hierarchy in the same way that my generation assigned value to Jansport-brand backpacks. 

Their concept of digital assets will be fundamentally different from ours, and NFTs are likely to benefit. 

But Why Are NFTs Relevant to Me Now?

Social proof is far from the most interesting use case for NFTs. 

In the near-term, NFTs can be utilized to store sale information of physical goods on the blockchain in order to eliminate nefarious actors in fraud-riddled industries like fine wine and art. 

Moreover, NFTs can disrupt any industry with a substantial secondary market. By coding royalties into the smart contract of NFTs, original sellers of wine, art and other trade-susceptible brands and industries can ensure they’ll capture a fee anytime an item is transferred. 

This solves a major problem for creators like photographers, artists and musicians that are notoriously underpaid in comparison to the value they create for brokers. It also has the potential to cut out middlemen like auction houses, record labels, and galleries to democratize the creator economy. 

Other Innovators Have Introduced Creative Use Cases for NFTs

Gary Vaynerchuk utilizes NFTs as tickets for events and other value-adds to his community. Forbes introduced a series of NFT Billionaires that will update alongside the real-time NYSE to gamify their user’s NFT experience in a way that’s brand-relevant. Foxies.art is using a gamified version of NFTs to fundraise blockchain education for women. 

The utility of NFTs is confined only by the imagination of our innovators. Whether or not NFT headlines today will remain relevant is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain: the disruption is only beginning. 

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