The company behind this concept is called Tether Limited, which was founded in 2015.
Its headquarters are in Hong Kong, but it also has an office in New York City. Tether tokens were first issued in 2014 under the name Realcoin, but that project was discontinued after it failed to attract sufficient investors or customers.
The current version of Tether was relaunched as an altcoin called Omni at the end of 2015. And then rebranded as just Tether in February 2016 after acquiring its current name from a defunct Canadian business named Global Reser
Tether is a cryptocurrency that’s supposed to be backed by the US dollar. It’s meant to be a stable coin, meaning it should act like the dollar: not fluctuating much in value.
But there are questions about whether Tether is actually backed by US dollars — and whether it’s even legal.
Tether was created as part of an effort to make cryptocurrencies more accessible for people who don’t want to deal with things like private keys and public addresses.
There’s no need to download any software or sign up for an account on an exchange; you can just send money from your bank account and buy tethers with it.
The idea behind tether (USDT) is that you can convert your USD into tethers and keep them on the platform until you need them, or convert them back into USD when you’re ready to spend them again. (It’s not really possible to do this directly with fiat currency. If you wanted to convert $10 into USDT, say, then send those USDT somewhere else, then convert them back into $10 again later, that would involve several steps.)
The company behind Tether recently announced plans to launch a new dollar-pegged stable coin called USD Coin (USDC).
There have also been questions about whether Tether was used to manipulate bitcoin prices during the 2017 bull run.