Coinbase announced on Thursday that its Pro trading platform will add stablecoin Tether (USDT). Coinbase Pro will list ERC-20 based USDT over Tether’s in-house Tron network (TRC-20) as early as next week.
Tether is a stablecoin available across several blockchains that is pegged to the US dollar. For USDT, the company behind the protocol is responsible for holding cash reserves to back each token. According to CoinMarketCap, Tether is the largest stablecoin with a market capitalization of $49.27 billion.
In a blog post, Coinbase stated that “USDT will generally be available in Coinbase’s supported jurdisdictions, with the expectation of New York State. Trading will begin on or after 6PM Pacific Time (PT) Monday April 26, if liquidity conditions are met. Please note that Coinbase only supports ERC-20 USDT running on the Ethereum blockchain.”
Potential Controversary and Threats of Delisting?
What’s interesting is that this move comes just days after Coinbase’s public debut on the NASDAQ. As a publicly traded company, the crypto exchange giant is subject to far more regulatory scrutiny than ever before.
Tether has been embroiled in controversy, with its alleged Bitcoin price manipulation, ties to Bitfinex, and lack of cooperation with officials. Earlier last year, the Office of New York Attorney General started a probe and concluded that Tether was not fully backed by the dollar in the past. The inquiry was settled with Tether releasing reserve reports as early as next month.
While the NYAG case was settled, further regulatory complications may arise for the stablecoin. It’s certainly possible that, as a publicly traded company now under the jurisdiction of the Securities Exchange and Commission (SEC), Coinbase may have to delist USDT in the future.
Nonetheless, Coinbase will gradually introduce the stablecoin through three phases: post-only, limit-only, then full-trading. The exchange said that trading will roll out as early as April 26th — if there is sufficient volume or liquidity.