Tether’s USDT stablecoin goes live on TON blockchain

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Stablecoin operator Tether is strengthening ties with Telegram’s Web3 ecosystem by launching its U.S. dollar-pegged USDT (USDT) stablecoin on The Open Network (TON).

Tether made the announcement on April 19, also revealing it would launch the gold-pegged Tether Gold (XAUT) stablecoin on TON as well.

The announcement came in conjunction with Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino’s and Telegram founder Pavel Durov’s keynote speeches at the crypto event Token2049 in Dubai.

At the same event, Tether also announced it would be restructuring and introduced four new business divisions: Tether Data, Tether Finance, Tether Power and Tether Edu.

Telegram CEO and founder Pavel Durov at Token2049 in Dubai. Source: Cointelegraph

According to Ardoino, TON and Tether share a vision of an open, decentralized internet and a borderless financial system.

“The launch of USDT and XAUT on TON will allow seamless value transfer, increasing activity and liquidity while offering users a financial experience that can match those found in the traditional financial system,” the Tether CEO stated.

This latest development marks another milestone in Tether’s expansion across multiple blockchains, bringing its coverage to 15 chains, including Tron and Ethereum.

The milestone is also essential for the TON network, whose native token, Toncoin (TON), overtook Dogecoin (DOGE) as the ninth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap on April 16.

“The TON blockchain works with Telegram, meaning USDT and XAUT on TON have the potential to provide a simple, borderless experience for peer-to-peer payments for Telegram’s user base which Telegram estimates at over 900 million global users,” the announcement reads.

Related: Crypto-like communication devices could break gov’t surveillance — Telegram founder Durov

Something unique about USDT’s launch on TON is that the TON ecosystem enables transfers between fiat and crypto and has ambitions to beat traditional finance in efficiency and ease of use, TON Foundation’s marketing head, Jack Booth, told Cointelegraph. He ad:

“[There are] built-in on-ramps for fiat at the launch and global off-ramps to bank cards and accounts coming soon. This will be the first time a mass audience will be able to use crypto infrastructure for global payments.”

USDT’s launch on TON isn’t the first instance of the two ecosystems intersecting. Since at least 2023, USDT has been one of the default cryptocurrencies available on Wallet, a third-party custodial wallet available to Telegram users, alongside other coins like Bitcoin (BTC) and Toncoin.

At the time of writing, the Tron network is the default blockchain available for USDT on Wallet, enabling TRC-20 USDT. According to Halil Mirakhmed, chief operating officer of Wallet, TON-based USDT will become another option on Wallet, while TRC-20 USDT will stay.

The Tron blockchain accounts for the biggest share of issued USDT at the time of the announcement, according to data from Tether.

The news comes a few weeks after Tether launched a recovery tool in March 2024 that allowed users to migrate USDT between different blockchains. On March 4, USDT crossed an all-time high market cap of $100 billion.

Additional reporting by Felix Ng.

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