Benefits of Tether and Digital Assets in an International Context
The creation of digitals assets marks a watershed moment in the history of money and commerce. Digital assets provide a variety of unique and meaningful properties to users worldwide. While digital assets can take many forms and offer numerous benefits to users, stablecoins are particularly useful for a global population.
Tether tokens (USDt) offer significant advantages in an international context. The adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender by El Salvador serves as a historic first and perhaps a significant acceleration point for the impact of digital assets on the international landscape. In this context, it is worth exploring the specific advantages that USDt offers to global economies.
The quality and access to financial infrastructure vary greatly across the world. Over 2 billion people do not have access to a bank account, and even more lack access to reliable and secure financial infrastructure. This picture is further complicated in regions that lack a stable and reliable currency.
We can view these issues as consisting mainly of:
- No access to banks and bank accounts.
- Financial services where the user may lose their money due to theft or failure.
- Currency devaluation and corruption.
In many regions, all of these issues build on top of each other and compound.
An alternative for individuals who cannot access banking services
Individuals who cannot access banks or financial services are disconnected from the ability to save money and to plug into the global economy. Needing to store physical cash makes a person vulnerable to theft, and cuts them off from the international digital economy.
USDt circumvents these challenges by providing access to what are the equivalent of core banking services (holding funds and transferring them), where the user only needs access to the internet. It also provides these services in a way that insulates the user from the volatility that might be experienced in other digital assets.
USDt tokens can be stored more easily than physical cash and provide an essential digital lifeline.
USDt also allows users to access global markets more easily, even if they do have access to banking services. Merchants and users in areas that are more disconnected from leading currencies have to contend with additional friction when converting their local currency to accepted global currencies.
These merchants and users are forced to store value in their local currency (in many situations) as their local banks may not provide banking services to hold various currencies.
USDt allows these users to directly receive and conduct payments in an asset that can be both accepted and used worldwide. USDt, along with most digital assets, are digitally native and not tied to localized financial regimes.
Additionally, there are many regions where users may contend with either extortionary fees or risks of theft when using financial services in their region. This can take the form of remittance providers who charge exorbitant fees or the risk of theft when transporting cash from a location like a Western Union. These are non-trivial issues for a meaningful percentage of the world’s population.
USDt, EURt and CNHt empower international users with an alternate way to send and receive money globally, and completely removes the need for physical transportation or storage.
What does the future hold for stablecoins?
Over time, digital assets like USDt have the potential to break down economic silos, which cut off entire countries from global markets. As digital assets like USDt are integrated as payment options within markets and marketplaces worldwide, the ability for anyone, anywhere in the world to access them expands.
This benefits both merchants and users. Users can access products and services more efficiently regardless of the country or currency regime they are located in, and merchants can sell their products and services to a much wider audience.
USDt and other digital assets are invaluable lifelines to people living in regions struggling with corruption or weak property guarantees.
Generally, most individuals don’t worry that they may suddenly lose access to their claim to ownership of their house or car. Robust legal systems built around individual property rights prevent this in the vast majority of cases.
However, there are many regions globally that lack systems to protect individual claims to property. In those areas, it can be risky to deploy savings into a home or another physical or localized asset (regional equities).
USDt offers an alternative option for users to store their savings and value in an asset with essentially fundamental property rights. This can be crucial in empowering individuals to improve their quality of life via wealth accumulation.
Finally, USDt allows individuals to store wealth outside of a banking system that may be compromised. There are devastating examples of regime changes where a government takes control of the banking system and restricts the free and open flow of capital.
USDt allows users an alternative to keep their capital in banking infrastructure, which may be heavily restricted, to the detriment of the individual.
As some media pundits like to claim that digital assets are useless, it is important to explore the critical and occasionally life-saving benefits they can offer to users all over the globe. It is for these reasons and more that the first nation, El Salvador, has begun to adopt a digital asset, Bitcoin, as legal tender.