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Tether Frozen in Poly Hack Returned to Owners, Fuelling Centralization Debate

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The tether (USDT) that was frozen by its issuer Tether during the recent Poly Network hack have been returned to their rightful owners, Tether announced. However, this has raised concerns that this particular part of the cryptocurrency space is not as decentralized as it claims to be.

On Wednesday, the official Twitter account of Tether announced that they had unfrozen all the funds that were stolen in the Poly hack, after working closely with the network to follow all the “strict protocols” that were put in place.

They added that, “Freezing funds is not a matter we take lightly – in being the first to act, Tether demonstrated its commitment to security and continued vigilance in ensuring the community always comes first.”

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Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology Officer at Tether, explained the process in a thread on Twitter.

After being contacted by the Poly team, Tether’s tech team organized the multisig freezing process, Ardonio wrote. The address that they froze had received hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth in different cryptoassets, with no other previous activity like participating in centralized or decentralized exchanges, decentralized finance (DeFi) pools, etc. This, according to Ardoino, convinced them that the address belonged to the hacker, and the funds were frozen.

As for the legal procedure, users who want to report a hack will have to write an email to the designated address at Tether, and attach a Law Enforcement letter that corroborates the story and the freeze request. The claimant will also have to complete the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) procedures that are usually reserved for banking grade customers.

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After that, the process of returning the funds to the rightful owners can take up to several months, as the company ensures there are no other claimants.

On the other hand, many in the crypto community are worried that this means Tether is centralized—something that goes against the very pillars of the industry. Even in the face of disastrous hacks that cost users millions of dollars, many think that freezable funds are setting a dangerous precedent.

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Tether

Tether Co-Founder Says There’s Money in NFTs for Metaverse

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The NFT market has a lot of room to grow despite the 2021 success, envisioned one of the co-founders of Tether – William Quigley.

William Quigley, who co-founded stablecoin Tether (USDT), thinks non-fungible tokens (NFTs) accessible in metaverses will hit annual sales above $10 trillion. He shared his thoughts about NFTs and metaverse with Bloomberg in an interview over the week.

When asked about the lush, blossoming NFT fields of 2021, Quigley said his sights are set on the mass market possibilities of the non-fungible blockchain technology:

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“From a consumer-product standpoint, what’s interesting to me is not one NFT selling for $1 million, but a million NFTs being sold at $1 each. A brand-new business for digital collectibles. That seems to me to have longer legs and overall a bigger market.”

Quigley has some experience with NFTs himself. In addition to starting Tether, he started Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX), a proof-of-stake blockchain specializing in non-fungible tokens, among other areas of development.

NFTs a $10 Trillion Market in Metaverse Alone, Tether Founder

He believes the annual revenue from sales of NFTs accessible in metaverses will be worth at least $10 trillion, telling Bloomberg he expects the market to be “orders of magnitude” larger than the current landscape for virtual items in video games:

“In video gaming the revenue model now is virtual items, and that’s a $175 billion business annually. I think the metaverse should be orders of magnitude more than that because it’s everything, it’s not just gaming.”

Think of the metaverse as a mesh of intelligibly networked virtual environments and enhancements to real-world spaces via augmented reality and the Internet of Things.

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Facebook is building a native metaverse integrated with its other products, where co-workers who live in different time zones could use virtual reality to attend meetings and sit across from each other in a virtual city.

Meanwhile, Apple has its eye on augmented reality. CEO Tim Cook has tirelessly boosted the technology and its possibilities and says it’s an opportunity worth as much to the computer company as iPhone.

Metaverse Will be Filled with Unique Digital Items

This metaverse of digital capability spilling over into reality and drawing us into the virtual space will not be a bland user environment with standard apps and capabilities.

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Instead, as a recent Reuters report envisions it, metaverse will be richly populated by the users with unique programmable tokens powered by the blockchain.

Quigley says:

“When it happens, it really is hard to imagine and hard to overstate the impact. I’m betting that the revenue model for the metaverse is going to be NFTs.”

In the metaverse, digital property rights, market facilities, and governance will not be enforced and supported by lawyers in conspiracy with armed enforcers as every society in history has developed hitherto.

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Instead, these bulwarks of civilization will be assured by consensual participation in decentralized software protocols intelligently engineered to serve in the background as a vital utility with the broadest usefulness for developers to serve metaverse denizens.

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Tether goes to court to prevent the press from accessing details about USDT reserves

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Tether, the issuer of stablecoin USDT, the most used in the world, made a request to the Supreme Court of New York to prevent media outlets from having access to documents that detail the composition of its USDT reserves in recent years.

The petition presented on Tuesday (31) targets CoinDesk, one of the main news sites in the crypto sector, which tried to obtain the documents through the Access to Information Act of the United States.

Charles Michael, the attorney representing the company, argues in the appeal that the disclosure of such information could harm the business strategies of Tether and Bitfinex, the group’s exchange.

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“The competition is fierce, with start-up exchanges constantly entering the market and challenging the incumbent. Bitfinex and Tether differentiate themselves from their competitors by using at least three types of sensitive and competitive data that are at issue in this process: (1) financial strategies, (2) compliance and documentation measures, and (3) customer data”, describes the petition shared by Coindesk.

What does Coindesk ask for

The portal’s request for information was limited to information related to the composition of the reserve of assets that support Tether’s stablecoin. As the USDT is a currency 100% paired with the US dollar, the company is required to have one real dollar in cash for each token issued.

However, the company has proven in the past to lack transparency and was even fined by the New York Attorney General for lying about the backing of its stablecoin and falsifying audits.

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Tether executives said in May this year that the company sent the attorney general’s office a copy of its reservations and that is the document that Coindesk asked for access, making clear in the request that it did not need “any other document on the investigation.”

Tether’s lawyers asked the US Access to Information Act official that the documents not be released and, at first, they were complied with.

CoinDesk then appealed the negative response and an appellate official reversed the decision, setting Sept. 1 as the deadline for Tether to petition the court to try to prevent the documents from being leaked.

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“We were disappointed but not surprised to see that Tether filed a lawsuit to block the release of documents (…) after the attorney general’s office agreed with CoinDesk on their disclosure,” said Lance Koonce, the attorney representing the portal, concluding that are eager to find out what the court’s final decision will be.

Tether commented on the case through an official note and stressed that the disclosure of this information “will harm Tether’s competitive position in the market and will unduly and unduly invade the privacy of others.” The company also said that it is in the process of obtaining audited financial statements and that it expects to produce them in the coming months.

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Which Is the Next Cryptocurrency to Explode in 2021?

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Any investor looking for a promising cryptocurrency to buy or sell should always keep an eye on the market. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of digital assets where you can find out the next cryptocurrency to explode in 2021. We are very particular about this year because it has been full of surprises for both experienced and amateur investors.

The year has seen more institutional investors diversify their portfolios to include altcoins. Also, most of the altcoins have upgraded their networks, thereby pushing their prices up. So, let’s look at the cryptos to watch in 2021.

Cardano ADA

1. Cardano (ADA)

Undoubtedly, this altcoin, a brainchild of Ethereum Co-founder, has performed exceedingly well this year. If you are looking for the next cryptocurrency to explode this year, then ADA shows all the signs because the crypto community is upbeat that the coin may soon replace Ethereum.

Therefore, both institutional and retail investors have set their eyes on it, resulting in a rally for most of 2021. Apart from that, with Elon Musk advocating for alternatives to Bitcoin and Ethereum – because they are not environmentally friendly, Cardano will most likely draw interest.

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2. Dogecoin (DOGE)

This altcoin, which started as a meme, has been the greatest beneficiary of the influencer effect this year, thanks to Elon Musk. Currently, DOGE is in the top ten cryptos in terms of market capitalization and shows signs of making incremental gains in 2021 after receiving support from other investors.

Initially, the coin was launched as a parody for the nascent cryptocurrency industry, and the developers didn’t put much effort into developing the protocol. However, recent developments, especially on Twitter and Reddit, have spurred interest among the developers into enhancing the protocol to serve real-life applications. It’s worth mentioning that DOGE is a very volatile coin that can explode at any time in 2021.

3. Binance Coin (BNB)

Anyone searching for the next cryptocurrency to explode in 2021 should compulsively research Binance Coin. The coin is issued by Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, and keeps on oscillating places with Ether over the last few weeks. So, why is the coin set to be the next cryptocurrency to explode?

Apart from being the loyalty coin on Binance – where it reduces the cost of trades – it launched Smart Chain to compete with Ethereum in the DeFi ecosystem. Because its platform charges lower fees than Ethereum, it has attracted several notable DeFi apps. You can find out more about the trading platform in our Binance review.

4. Ripple (XRP)

Despite being one of the earliest cryptocurrencies, Ripple confounds amateur investors and regulatory authorities on its status. Its parent company, Ripple Labs, is embroiled in a court battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission over an unregistered securities offering when it sold XRP in 2012. As the regulatory future of crypto faces a litmus test, XRP remains one of the most promising cryptocurrencies in 2021.

Unlike Ethereum and Bitcoin, the crypto is largely used by several well-known banks and financial institutions for expedient and cheap international money transfers. Already, financial behemoths, such as Bank of America and India’s largest bank, HDFC Bank Limited, are using RippleNet for their transactions. 

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LINK may not be as old as BTC in the cryptocurrency arena, but it has exhibited resilience that leaves most of us confused if it may be the next cryptocurrency to explode. In simple terms, ChainLink establishes Oracle networks that bridge blockchains to the outside world. From a broad perspective, ChainLink establishes smart contracts.

Therefore, apart from doing what Ethereum is good at, the growth of decentralized finance will give the LINK token more demand in the foreseeable future. Importantly, ChainLink will continue to attract developer interest because it has also partnered with Google, decentralized exchange (DEX) WOWswap, Polkadot-based Exchange Conversation, among others.

6. Uniswap (UNI)

The decentralized exchange protocol is not a standalone blockchain but a decentralized application on the Ethereum network that eliminates middlemen and allows users to trade ERC-20 tokens at reduced fees. The launch of Uniswap V2, which whittled the dominance of ETH as one of the two assets in the liquidity pool, provided opportunities for coin swapping between ERC tokens.

Furthermore, technical improvements made on the protocol enabled smart contract facilitation after the change of programming language from Vyper to Solidity. Importantly, since the September 2020 launch of its UNI governance coin, when everyone who ever used the coin received an award of 400 UNI tokens, owners now have a say of the protocol, and this will inevitably boost its future price.

Polkadot

7. Polkadot (DOT)

Polkadot is another blockchain ecosystem that is gaining popularity because it aims to decentralize the web, providing room for other blockchains to interact. Ultimately, the project seeks to help in the development of decentralized applications (Dapps). Despite being in existence for some time, its token, DOT, was launched late last year after redomination, accruing value immediately it was available for transferability and trading.

In addition, the approval of the first Polkadot treasury proposals boosted the network and made it a key player in the community treasury as well as the on-chain governance ecosystem. Polkadot seems headed for better times ahead because it is the number one platform for staking, which makes it attractive to owners of the DOT token. Looking forward, as the blockchain on-boards more developer teams, coupled with its acceptance on Kraken and Binance last year, DOT will gain acceptability and gain value.

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8. Tether (USDT)

Tether is not a new player in the cryptocurrency world but had attracted investors’ interest because of its immunity to price volatility – a common feature in the industry. As other cryptocurrencies were experiencing massive downswings in 2018, investors started looking for digital assets with real-world assets to cushion them from the rip-off. That is the time Tether emerged as the safest stablecoin and has maintained the position to date.

Theoretically, the coin is pegged at $1 for one Tether, with very minimal fluctuations, making it a centralized coin. Nonetheless, the coin is widely accepted by cryptocurrency enthusiasts because it is readily available, easily exchanged to US dollar, and acceptable in almost all exchanges.

9. Tron (TRX)

Tron is the largest blockchain-based operating system focused on content sharing and entertainment. In 2018, the company made its biggest acquisitions when it acquired BitTorrent, allowing content creators to link with their audiences seamlessly – no middlemen involved. Ultimately, the company seeks to benefit both content creators and users by ensuring that each of them gets the best value.

As a pioneer in initiating such a technology in the entertainment industry, TRX, the native cryptocurrency, will experience growth in 2021 because it has entered new spheres, such as DeFi, dApps, and NFTs, making it a formidable competitor to Ethereum and other altcoins.

10. Polygon (MATIC)

The Matic Network that recently rebranded to Polygon could be the next cryptocurrency to explode in 2021. In April, the network launched a fund to enable end-users to access decentralized finance easily. The fund seeks to onboard users to DeFi platforms and products. With an emphasis on transaction speed, energy consumption, gas fees, the MATIC token will definitely shock investors this year, as it seeks to be the outright replacement to Ethereum.

11. VeChain (VET)

The platform, launched in 2015, used the Ethereum blockchain until it rebranded and started using its own blockchain. Essentially, the platform capitalizes on its fast processing speed to offer enterprises supply chain management solutions.

In April, the company achieved a major development when it reduced the Base Gas Price by 99%, encouraging developers to use the platform for the development of dApps. Also, VeChain Foundation launched a $1 million fund to attract developers to contribute to the enterprise NFT ecosystem, and ultimately topple Ethereum in the DeFi and NFT battlefields.

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Conclusion

It is obvious that Bitcoin retains its title of the big boy in the crypto world, but that doesn’t automatically make it the next cryptocurrency to explode in 2021. Smart investors have learned how to make money expediently by looking at undervalued asset classes in the cryptocurrency industry. Moreover, as institutional and retail investors try to diversify their portfolios, they are now looking at developments taking place in the realm of fast-growing DeFi space. That is why most of the coins we have analyzed here are all seeking a pie of the big cake. As you look for the next crypto to explode, keenly examine these coins with diligence.

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