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Bitfinex Confirms Plans to Launch Tether on Lightning Network

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex is seeking to launch Tether dollars (USDT), the stablecoin issued by its sister company, on the Lightning Network. The launch will take place later this year, Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino said in a May 31 report by The Block.

Efforts to get the launch going are reportedly already underway–Bitfinex has joined the RGB open-source development project.

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”One of the Coolest Things” That Bitfinex Has Ever Done

RGB is a group of developers and companies that are working to put more assets onto the Lightning Network. It describes itself as “a completely free, open-source, non-profit and community-oriented effort, promoted by the BHB Network and aimed at the development of standards and best practices to issue, transmit and store ‘Bitcoin-based non-bitcoin assets.’”

Ardoino described Bitfinex’ involvement with RGB and the Tether launch as “one of the coolest things” that the company has ever done. “We really love LN (I personally do a lot), so we want to make sure we learn and contribute to it with our resources,”

According to The Block, Bitfinex has had intentions of working on launching Tether on the Lightning Network for quite some time. Bitfinex first mentioned talks with the Lightning Network in a company update that was published in September of 2017.

“We are excited to announce the initial discovery and integration discussion with the Lightning Network team for low-cost, instant transactions of Tether currencies on the Lightning Network,” the update said.

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If the launch is successful, Tether could be the largest cryptocurrency ever to be operational on the Lightning Network. At press time, Tether was the ninth-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap. Tether’s competitors–USD Coin, Pax, Gemini dollar, and TrueUSD operate on the Ethereum network.

The announcement of the initiative is perhaps a bit of positive news after a bout of bad press. For weeks now, Bitfinex and Tether have been embroiled in a dispute with the New York Attorney General’s office. Both companies are under fire after it was revealed that Tether loaned a significant amount of its reserves to Bitfinex to cover the exchange’s losses.

Serious though it is, the dispute doesn’t seem to have done any serious damage to the companies (yet)–Tether’s market cap is currently at a new all-time high at $3.14 billion.


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