Tether USDT Makes Big Expansion Into Polkadot Universe

Last updated: Mar 30, 2023
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Tether, the biggest stablecoin in the world by market cap, is making a move into the Polkadot ecosystem as it launches support on the Kusama network.

Kusama is a sandbox for Polkadot developers and acts as DOT’s canary network. It has a nearly identical codebase, and can be used to test out new network upgrades or applications before they launch on Polkadot.

Peter Mauric, head of public affairs at Polkadot development firm Parity Technologies, said that getting support from Tether indicates a growing interest in the use of the stablecoin within the Polkadot universe.

“Different builders and institutions have their own preferences on the tech stack and products they interface with, and there is plenty of room for a variety of options within the crypto ecosystem,” Mauric said in a Telegram message seen by Coindesk.

“Tether’s deployment on Kusama is a clear indication that there is interest in having it available to builders in the Polkadot ecosystem alongside the Polkadot-native options that are launching as well…

“[The] timeline is to be determined but I suspect that this Kusama deployment will serve much of the same ‘canary effect’ we saw in the Polkadot launch process for the relay chain and parachains, as a real world proving ground for the tech before it is ready for production on Polkadot,” he said.

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Once launched, USDT will facilitate transactions on Kusama’s Statemine parachain, a chain used for deploying new assets and balance-keeping of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino told The Block:

"We also continue to look at Kusama… Kusama would theoretically allow us to start experimenting with supporting Tether on parachains even before Statemint is officially live…

We are expecting the launch of Statemint in the next few months…But the roadmap is not yet finalized, and so this is all still in the planning stages."

Assuming all goes according to plan, USDT will be the first stablecoin to exist on the Polkadot network.

The addition of Tether will come amid a flurry of new development taking place on Polkadot, including the successful launch of several parachains and nearly a hundred different tokens on its blockchain.

Last month, Polkadot project Acala partnered with eight other parachains and several venture capitalist funds for a quarter-billion-dollar aUSD Ecosystem Fund to support new startups on Polkadot or Kusama with a focus on building applications with strong stablecoin use cases.

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