The cryptocurrency platform Tether is set to launch a new stablecoin, which for crypto newcomers is a digital currency tied to the value of another asset. In this case, Tether’s new coin will be linked to the value of the British pound. It’s set to launch in the UK in July 2022. 

Tether already has a number of stablecoins in the market, including a couple that are tied to the US dollar and the Chinese Yuan.  

Speaking of this newest product, Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino said that the firm sees the UK as: “The next frontier for blockchain innovation and the wider implementation of cryptocurrency for financial markets. Tether is ready and willing to work with UK regulators to make this goal a reality and looks forward to the continued adoption of Tether stablecoins”. 

Could stablecoins soon be mainstream in the UK?  

The announcement from Tether comes just as the UK Government is preparing legislation that could bring certain types of cryptocurrency into the mainstream economy. It has been reported that the Treasury plans to pave the way for stablecoins to be used for payments, although how this will actually happen in practice is not yet clear.  

Some experts believe that Tether has carefully timed its UK pound stablecoin launch in order to get ahead of new government regulations. The launch will also present a challenge to the Treasury, which is rumoured to be working on a new sterling stablecloin backed and/or issued by the Bank of England.  

In the Queen’s Speech read by Prince Charles in May 2022, it was confirmed that cryptocurrency and stablecoins will feature in the upcoming Financial Services and Markets Bill. However, the industry is still holding its breath for any detailed plans to emerge. However, a spokesperson for the Treasury also told UKTN

“We are firmly committed to putting the UK’s financial services sector at the forefront of cryptoasset technology and innovation.

“This includes creating the conditions for stablecoins – when used as a means of payment – to operate and grow safely while mitigating potential financial stability risks.” 

 “The forthcoming Financial Services and Markets Bill will set up the framework for regulating stablecoins in the UK.” 

Stablecoins are generally seen as being a fraction safer than other types of cryptocurrency. On paper, they’re less volatile in terms of price swings – which have been fairly dramatic for leading cryptos such as Bitcoin recently, leading to fears of a ‘crypto winter’.  

However, this doesn’t mean that stablecoins don’t experience sudden drops in value. A prime example is Luna, the value of which dropped to below a dollar last month.  

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