Tether, the issuer of fiat-collateralized stablecoin USDT, has just announced that it has launched "a redesigned platform allowing for the verification of new customers and direct redemption of Tether to fiat."
Tether says that the incredible popularity of USDT resulted in growth "at an unpredicted rate," which quickly made "the initial model (enabling direct redemption of Tether to fiat through its native platform) unsustainable." Therefore, the company turned to Bitfinex for help, since the latter "was built to withstand a much larger volume of customers." Until now, anyone wishing to redeem USDT for USD had to go to Bitfinex, which has had all kinds of complaints leveled against it by customers on social media platforms such as Twitter and Reddit.
Although the lack of attestation reports by an independent accounting firm along with redemption difficulties at Bitfinex have damaged Tether's reputation somewhat and resulted in the value of USDT dropping at times (over the past several weeks) to below $0.90, USDT still has managed to maintain its dominant position in the stablecoin market.
Tether goes on to say that because it now has a stronger relationship with its new bank, Deltec Bank & Trust Limited, which it announced on 1 November 2018, it can now "return to its original vision of having a wallet for creating and redeeming directly on its own platform without having to rely on a third party," which means that from today, "the immediate withdrawal of Tether to fiat (1:1)" is possible, and in the near future, its platform will also allow acquiring of USDT.
That was the good news. The not so good news is that to get advantage of the ability to redeem USDT for USD on the Tether website, you need to have at least 100,000 USDT; similarly, the minimal issuance requirement is $100,000. In Tether's words, these new account requirements are designed "with Tether’s professional investor audience in mind."
Here is the fee structure:
It is worth mentioning that less than an hour after Tether's announcement, came this announcement from Bitfinex:
From today onwards, Bitfinex customers will be able to trade Tether-fiat directly on our platform through the addition of USDT/USD and EURT/EUR Tether trading pairs.— Bitfinex (@bitfinex) November 27, 2018
To find out more, see https://t.co/KAzPciUwqJ. pic.twitter.com/efvJBVzlgJ
Featured Image and Fee Table Courtesy of Tether