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Tether Makes Strategic Transition, to Meet Community Demands and Foster Innovation

At Tether, we hold a deep sense of responsibility towards maintaining a robust blockchain ecosystem for USD₮ and all other tokens we issue. To fulfill this commitment, we periodically assess the current transport layers, striving to strike a balance between maintainability, usage statistics, and community interest.

A key factor in deciding to bring USD₮ to a specific blockchain is the level of community interest. We carefully evaluate the effort required, encompassing security, customer support, compliance, and regulatory oversight, to ensure the security, usability, and sustainability of the chosen blockchain. If a blockchain lacks significant traction over an extended period and shows no signs of recovery in usage indicators, maintaining support becomes inefficient and may jeopardize security and oversight.

Therefore, after careful consideration, Tether will embark on a strategic transition, discontinuing support for the Kusama, Bitcoin Cash SLP and Omni Layer implementations. 

We understand the significance of this decision, particularly for Omni, as it was the first transport layer that Tether used in 2014. The Omni Layer, built on top of Bitcoin, played a crucial role in Tether's early journey, and we acknowledge the contributions and innovations the team has made to the crypto landscape.

However, over the years, the Omni Layer faced challenges due to the lack of popular tokens and the availability of USD₮ on other blockchains. This led many exchanges to favor alternative transport layers, leading to a decline in USD₮ usage on Bitcoin using the Omni Layer.  As a principled organization, we must remain consistent and transparent, and adhere to open processes, even if it entails difficult choices.

Yet we believe in the potential of the Omni Layer and the transformative power of decentralized exchanges. Increased utilization of the Omni Layer's decentralized exchange and its token issuance protocol (including NFTs) would allow us to reconsider issuing USD₮ on Bitcoin via Omni in the future.

We want to emphasize that Tether's team is rooted in the belief of leveraging the most secure, audited, and decentralized blockchain ever built: Bitcoin.  We are also actively contributing to developing RGB, a client-side validated state and smart contracts system operating on Layer 2 and 3 of the Bitcoin ecosystem. RGB functions both on-chain (Bitcoin L1) and on the Lightning Network, promising unparalleled scalability.  We firmly believe that RGB will usher in a new era for digital assets, smart contracts, and digital rights, garnering comprehensive support from major players in our industry.  Once USD₮ on RGB goes live, the world will witness USD₮ on another super-powerful and scalable Bitcoin layer.

We believe the market should decide which protocols and blockchains are utilized for the transfer of value.  We will continue to support the protocols and chains that the community finds useful and encourage the community to expand the use cases of USD₮ on every protocol.

The transition process will move forward as follows:

  • Tether will cease minting USD₮-Omni, USD₮-Kusama, and USD₮–BCHSLP from today, 17th August 2023

  • Tether will continue to redeem USD₮-Omni, USD₮-Kusama, and USD₮-BCH-SLP as normal for at least the next 12 months. Tether may evaluate and announce further changes around that time. 

  • Users can also swap USD₮-Omni, USD₮-Kusama, and USD₮-BCH-SLP for other chains on platforms that support these assets, such as Bitfinex.

We want to assure our community that this transition will be executed meticulously and with minimal disruption. Our top priority remains delivering a seamless user experience, and we are committed to facilitating a hassle-free transition. We sincerely appreciate your continued support and trust in Tether. Together, we are paving the way for a more vibrant and dynamic future for stablecoin adoption. Your feedback and understanding are invaluable as we evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of the crypto community.

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