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Bitfinex, one of the most popular crypto exchanges, has recently announced that it will launch its stablecoin Tether (USDT) on Bitcoin’s blockchain, the Lightning Network – a layer-two micropayments protocol that enables instant, low-cost Bitcoin transactions.
Stablecoins are currently trending strong, and Bitfinex wants no stone unturned in order to bring USDT to more blockchains. Previously, the company announced that it will launch its stablecoin on EOS’s blockchain. Currently, Tether is issued on the Omni Layer, Ethereum, and recently on the TRON network as well.
Along with the anticipated launch of USDT on the Lightning Network, the company also has plans to list it on Blockstream’s federated sidechain Liquid in the next few weeks. The launch, which will take place later this year and it is “one of the coolest things” the firm has ever done, Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino said in an email to The Block on May 31.
The firm told The Block that it is dedicated to bringing the stablecoin to other possible blockchain and launching USDT on the Lightning Network is part of the efforts. In order to achieve that goal, the company has also tied up with a group of developers and companies called RGB, which has plenty of experience working and putting assets on the Lightning Network. It describes itself as “a completely free, open-source, non-profit and community-oriented effort, promoted by the BHB Network and aimed at the development of standards and best practices to issue, transmit and store ‘Bitcoin-based non-bitcoin assets.’”
Long Time Plans to Join Bitcoin
According to The Block, Bitfinex has been planning to list Tether on the Lighting Network a long time ago, according to a company update dated September 2017. Deploying Tether on the Lightning network can possibly improve the transaction speed and decrease the transaction cost, Bitfinex said. According to the update:
“We are excited to announce the initial discovery and integration discussion with the Lightning Network team for low-cost, instant transactions of Tether currencies on the Lightning Network.”
Tether would be one of the largest digital currency ever to be operational on the Lightning network, which will boost the layer-two protocol adoption. Main competitors of Tether are USD Coin, TrueUSD, PAX, Gemini Dollar which are all issued exclusively on the Ethereum network.
It is important to note that Bitfinex and Tether (which share the same operator) are suspected of manipulating the Bitcoin price in the past and apparently are still under investigation of the US Justice Department.