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Tether Enables USDT Payments for Philippine Social Security

Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin issuer, has launched a new payment option in partnership with Uquid. This initiative allows Filipino citizens to pay their Social Security System (SSS) contributions using USDT, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. The SSS, a crucial part of the Philippines‘ social welfare system, supports workers across various sectors during challenging times.

The adoption of USDT for these payments marks a significant advancement in integrating cryptocurrency into everyday financial transactions. Uquid, a Web3 commerce and infrastructure firm, facilitates this service through The Open Network blockchain, emphasizing the role of digital currencies in enhancing daily financial activities.

Rise of Stablecoins in Global Finance

The use of stablecoins has sharply increased, particularly in mainstream and institutional settings. Initially created to ease access to crypto exchanges, stablecoins now serve as crucial liquidity providers across centralized and decentralized trading platforms. This evolution highlights their growing importance in the financial landscape. This trend is evidenced by actions from major financial platforms like PayPal, which introduced its stablecoin, PYUSD. Furthermore, Ripple is set to release its stablecoin by early 2025, aiming to meet the rising demand.

This shift is not just limited to payment facilitation; stablecoins are increasingly preferred for cross-border transactions at the institutional level. Although there has been a minor decline in stablecoin holdings among investors, dropping from 50.2% in December to 42.8% in May, they remain a key component of the digital currency landscape. This demonstrates the enduring significance of stablecoins in the market.

Cryptocurrency Preferences Among Investors

Unlike stablecoins, Bitcoin remains the preferred asset among institutional and retail investors as of May 2024, demonstrating widespread market trust. Bitcoin constitutes 26% of total holdings in leading cryptocurrencies, overshadowing Ethereum. Despite Ethereum’s potential boosted by the anticipation of Spot ETFs, it still trails behind Bitcoin, which is perceived as a safer asset by many due to the exclusion of staking rewards in Ether ETFs.

The recent SEC approval of Bitcoin Spot ETFs in January has led to a noticeable uptick in institutional investments in Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Ethereum has witnessed a dip in interest from these large-scale investors. Retail traders have effectively used their market timing skills, especially during the market correction between March and April 2024. This strategic approach has allowed them to capitalize on market fluctuations.

The varied strategies in cryptocurrency investment underscore the changing market dynamics and preferences. As investors explore the digital assets landscape, they face both new opportunities and challenges.

Tether Plans $1 Billion Tech Investment

Furthermore, Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether’s investment arm, unveiled a strategy to invest $1 billion over the next year in key sectors such as financial infrastructure, artificial intelligence (AI), and biotechnology. This decision follows a commitment of approximately $2 billion in similar ventures over the past two years. Ardoino noted that profits from previous investments would help fund these new projects to reduce dependence on major tech companies.

Tether’s investment division, comprised of a team of 15, reviews hundreds of startup pitches each month, primarily from emerging markets focusing on AI and biotech. Ardoino highlighted the company’s intent to promote technological independence by providing AI computing resources to all invested companies, further establishing Tether as a pioneer in fostering innovation across critical high-tech industries.