Tether Halts USDT Minting and Issuance on Polkadot’s Kusama, Bitcoin Omni, and BCH Chains

Tether has unveiled a strategic pivot that will reshape the trajectory of its blockchain ecosystem. The move, which entails discontinuing the minting and issuance of USDT on select chains, marks a significant step towards maintaining a resilient and dynamic blockchain environment.

With a firm commitment to upholding the integrity of its blockchain ecosystem, Tether has consistently engaged in periodic assessments of transport layers to strike an equilibrium between sustainability, community engagement, and operational efficiency. Central to this process is the determination of the blockchain platforms that warrant the issuance of USDT tokens, with community interest emerging as a pivotal gauge.

The criteria for blockchain selection encompass an intricate evaluation, taking into account factors such as security provisions, customer support capabilities, and regulatory compliance. This meticulous scrutiny ensures that the chosen blockchain aligns seamlessly with Tether’s core principles of security, usability, and long-term viability. However, when a blockchain platform experiences prolonged stagnation and fails to demonstrate a resurgence in usage metrics, sustaining support becomes operationally inefficient and could potentially compromise security measures.

Against this backdrop, Tether has made a strategic decision to embark on a transformative journey, opting to discontinue support for specific implementations. The impacted blockchain platforms include Kusama, a test chain of the Polkadot network, as well as Bitcoin’s Omni Layer and Bitcoin Cash SLP chains.

Notably, this decision holds profound implications, particularly for the Omni Layer, which played an instrumental role in Tether’s nascent stages. Serving as the pioneering transport layer for USDT issuance back in 2014, the Omni Layer, built atop the Bitcoin blockchain, etched its mark in Tether’s historical narrative. The organization pays homage to the Omni Layer team for their seminal contributions and innovations that have indelibly shaped the crypto landscape.

Yet, the Omni Layer encountered its own set of challenges over the years, including the lack of a diverse range of popular tokens and the proliferation of USDT availability on alternative blockchain platforms. This shift in dynamics prompted numerous exchanges to migrate towards alternative transport layers, thereby precipitating a decline in USDT usage on Bitcoin’s Omni Layer. The decision to withdraw support, although necessitated by pragmatic considerations, underscores Tether’s steadfast commitment to transparency and principled decision-making.

Tether’s unwavering belief in the potential of the Omni Layer and the transformative influence of decentralized exchanges remains unshaken. The organization envisions a future where heightened utilization of the Omni Layer’s decentralized exchange and token issuance protocol, including the burgeoning NFT realm, could potentially pave the way for the revival of USDT issuance on Bitcoin via the Omni Layer.

While Tether’s strategic transition unfolds, it remains firmly rooted in the conviction of leveraging Bitcoin’s unparalleled security, auditability, and decentralized architecture. The organization is actively contributing to the development of RGB, a pioneering client-side validated state and smart contract system operating across Bitcoin’s Layer 2 and Layer 3. RGB’s versatile functionality spans both the on-chain (Bitcoin L1) and the Lightning Network, promising a novel era for digital assets, smart contracts, and digital rights.

Amidst this transformative phase, Tether remains an advocate for the pivotal role of the market in determining the protocols and blockchains most suited for value transfer. The organization reiterates its unwavering support for protocols and chains resonating with the community, a stance firmly anchored in the ethos of decentralization.

The structured transition process is poised to unfold as follows:

  1. Cessation of USD₮-Omni, USD₮-Kusama, and USD₮–BCHSLP minting, effective from August 17, 2023.
  2. Continuation of normal redemption for USD₮-Omni, USD₮-Kusama, and USD₮-BCH-SLP for a minimum period of 12 months, with potential further changes to be evaluated and announced.
  3. Users are granted the option to seamlessly swap USD₮-Omni, USD₮-Kusama, and USD₮-BCH-SLP to alternative chains on platforms facilitating such exchanges, such as Bitfinex.

Tether pledges a meticulous and minimally disruptive execution of this transition, with an unwavering focus on providing a seamless user experience. The organization extends its gratitude for the community’s steadfast support and trust, emphasizing the collective endeavor to forge an innovative and dynamic future for stablecoin adoption. In this transformative journey, the community’s feedback and comprehension are invaluable, steering the course towards a landscape characterized by the continued evolution of stablecoin innovation.

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