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The USD-backed stablecoin firm Tether (USDT) has been involved in controversies since last July when it was first alleged for manipulating the price of Bitcoin(BTC)trade, which later culminated into investigations and lawsuits against the company.
Despite all of these severe legal issues, Tether has reported a significant growth in its utilization as a digital payment mode for goods and services. In fact, Tether is now becoming more and more popular on gambling sites and pot shops.
The Cayman Islands-based cryptocurrency payment processor firm CoinPayments reports that Tether’s volume has increased by as much as 30% which is 30 times greater compared to what it used to be a year ago. The two firms claim to work with more than 2.4 million merchants.
Another crypto payment processor firm, B2BinPay, has reported a 20% increase in Tether payment transactions from both customers and vendors. According to Ievgen Iugrinov, a product manager at B2BinPay, Tether transactions were less than 10% a year ago. According to store directory Cryptwerk, there are currently around 265 firms that accept Tether for payment purposes.
Ever since Tether was launched in 2017, it has been one of the most popular stablecoins used for online transactions. What makes Tether attractive is that it is supposedly backed by the US dollar, although most likely not in full. In theory at least, each Tether coin has the value of an equivalent of 1USD reserved in the vault, and that’s what makes it less volatile compared to other cryptocurrencies.
Sean Mackay, leader of operations at CoinPayments, stated about Tether”
“Merchants used to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and convert it into Tether to hedge against the volatility. Now we are seeing the payments just being done directly in Tether.”
With the increasing volume of Tether, crypto market leaders like Bitcoin(BTC)trade and Ethereum (ETH)trade are losing their dominant market shares, especially BTC. Last year, Bitcoin was the most indisputably dominant player in terms of the number of transactions and volume with 80% of the crypto market, which has now fallen to 60% via CoinPayments. Ethereum was second far behind, but still with a relatively high share of the market.
Tether Is Popular in Adult, Gambling, Cannabis Sites
It also appears that Tether is turning the most preferable digital payment option in more “special” niches; adult and gambling sites, and vaping and cannabis shops are now also becoming a hotspot for Tether users.
The co-owner of Toronto’s Green Earth Robotics Inc., Michael Chrzan, said:
“Tether, it’s started catching up. Since their community is growing, we believe it will expand in time. When the community is growing, they start using the coin.”
It seems that while Tether is surrounded by controversies and legal troubles, users are voting with their, well, fingers. Let’s hope that Tether won’t betray this trust.