Bittrex Adds Tether Competitor TrueUSD as Regulation Rumors Persist
As the saying goes, don’t keep all your stablecoins in one basket. Over-reliance on tethers could prove costly to an exchange such as Bittrex if U.S. regulators were to crack down on the controversial stablecoin. This week, Bittrex added a second stablecoin in the form Trueusd, in a move seen as a hedge against future Tether regulation.
Bittrex Expands its Stable of Dollar Coins
Following months of inactivity, Bittrex has resumed listing new coins and tokens at the rate of about one a week. This week’s addition was an unusual one however. Unlike other coins, Trueusd (TUSD) wasn’t already widely available elsewhere. In fact, Bittrex is only the second exchange to list the stablecoin after Upbit. In the last 24 hours, $2.3 million of TUSD has been traded on the Bittrex, accounting for 56% of the dollar-pegged coin’s overall volume.
With $29 million of USDT traded on Bittrex in the same period, tether is still way ahead in the stablecoin stakes, but all that could quickly change, especially if regulators were to weigh in. The legal status of Tether has been debated to death, with critics asserting that it could be liable to a U.S.-led shutdown, likely for falling foul of AML regulations. That may or may not come to pass, but in the meantime, Bittrex’ decision to add Trueusd could be interpreted as a safeguard against that possibility. The U.S. exchange does not allow fiat currency deposits, although its CEO stated in an interview last month that it will be adding this provision.
Trueusd or False Stablecoin?
When it launched in late January, Trueusd was billed as “A USD-backed stablecoin you can trust”. Trust Token, which conceived TUSD, have evidently learned from Tether’s mistakes and are anxious not to be tarred with the same brush. Hence the emphasis on “full collateral, regular auditing, and legal protections”. To purchase TUSD direct from Trueusd, full KYC is required. Like tethers, TUSD may waver slightly in price, but is unlikely to deviate far from its $1 peg. As Trust Token explains:
Since traders can always trade Trueusd for the equivalent USD on TrueUSD.com, there will be an incentive to buy or sell mispriced Trueusd on exchanges and convert on Trueusd.com.
For all the measures it is taking to ensure full compliance, it is possible that TUSD could still run into hot water for issuing a “copycat” version of the U.S. dollar. This seems unlikely as it stands, not least because regulators have much bigger fish to fry, even if a case could be made against Trust Token and Tether on those grounds. Besides, Trust Token has said it may introduce a Euro-based version in future, which would be safe from such measures. The other major U.S. exchange that is currently reliant on tethers is Kraken. If it were to introduce Trueusd, it could signal the beginning of the end for Tether on U.S. soil.
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