The meteoric rise of USDT in 2020 H1: Everything you need to know
Predictions for what will happen in the cryptocurrency world exist at any given time, and vary wildly depending on who you ask. Long gone are the days when Bitcoin was expected to reach $100,000 “by the end of the year,” although there’s still the odd enthusiast with overtly positive expectations to come up with such claims now and then.
Still, most movements in the crypto market are predicted by at least a few people, and in some cases these crypto gurus, when predicting such market changes, end up causing them in response.
However, 2020 has seen a market change nobody ever thought, among many other things the world has seen this year. Specifically, the rise of the USD Tether (USDT) and stablecoins in general has been higher than even the most optimistic of predictions.
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What’s USDT? Why is it important?
The USD Tether is the name of a specific stablecoin, USDT for short, whose value is pegged to that of the US Dollar. 1 USDT thus equals 1USD at all times. It’s one of many coins with prices pegged to those of fiat currency, and thus it is categorized as a stablecoin – because the price always remains stable.
Is it a bad coin? Why people never thought it could rise?
Stablecoins can be divisive among the community, because they imply the creation and use of blockchain as a means to move fiat instead of independent digital currencies – something some crypto enthusiasts consider against the spirit of cryptocurrencies.
However, stablecoins aren’t considered bad in general. Over the years, many crypto analysts have actually predicted they could become an entry point into cryptocurrencies for many people, and the relative safety of their prices has led several crypto exchanges, Binance chiefly among them, to adopt their own stablecoins and offer instant exchanges into them to crypto holders.
Stablecoins are, thus, quick ways for holders to jump out of the market without necessarily going through the bothersome process of turning their crypto into fiat. Since this process doesn’t involve actually exchanging tokens for fiat, but for other tokens, many of the costs – such as a bank transaction and withdrawal fees – are skipped. It’s the preferred way for holders and traders to take a step away from the market if they plan on returning to trading soon.
But why would USDT grow so suddenly? Why would it get popular? Are new people joining the market?
The reason USDT has risen in the past few months has little to do with newcomers and a lot to do with existing crypto traders, current events, and how those shape the economy.
As had been long predicted, a worldwide recession is underway, and if you believe certain predictions, we’re yet to see the worst of it. The current pandemic, along with the gross mishandling of it by many world governments, is leading the worldwide economy towards a second shutdown within a year, one that’s expected to hit much worse than the first one.
And the thing about the first one is it proved many theories about cryptocurrencies’ place in the economy, well… wrong.
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Wait, what was wrong?
One of the most commonly held beliefs among cryptocurrency enthusiasts was that crypto would rise if markets went down. Some people went as far as to call it the new gold, usually following the (not quite true) belief that gold always goes up when markets go down.
However, March and April 2020 told a much different story: As COVID-19 had markets close and stocks went down across the board… so did cryptocurrencies. Ether hit its year-long low in mid-March, having shed 50% of its value in a span of just two weeks. Bitcoin did likewise in April, hitting a year-low price of just under $5,000/BTC – less than 50% of the high reached back in September, which had the token valued at almost $12,000.
Being the main tokens in the market, they’re often used as a way to see the current trend in crypto prices. Both tokens severely underperformed when the recession first hit, and while both have also recovered since (Bitcoin partly helped by its May 2020 halving,) with a second, worse recession dip in our doors its only understandable people are trying to jump ahead of the market.
Will this rise last?
USDT isn’t much of an investment, being tied to the value of a clearly inflational currency, and therefore there’s little reason to hold it in a world where cryptocurrencies aren’t yet mainstream. But,the green light is in the fact that mnay hold it as a midpoint between investing and selling off their crypto holdings.
USDT is currently serving as a bellwether for crypto traders who fear the current economy might send token prices to the ebb. Once markets recover, however, many of them will jump back – and USDT might return to its regular trade values or yet, grow stronger.
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