Tether Gold (XAU₮) is a brand new product released by Tether. The idea behind XAU₮ is to have a cryptocurrency backed by gold – a ‘safe haven’ asset that historically gains value over time.
It provides the security of a digital asset and the safety of being pegged to physical gold (XAU). The altcoin is currently available on Bitfinex, the exchange behind Tether.
Although XAU₮ is not the first digital currency built to be backed by gold, it may be a serious contender to the Bitcoin store-of-value market.
Tether is currently the most widely used cryptocurrency. Therefore, any other cryptocurrency backed by the Tether team probably has a good chance of gaining adoption as well.
Let’s take a deeper dive into Tether Gold, how it works, and what you can expect from it.
How does Tether Gold (XAU₮) work?
Tether Gold (XAU₮) has started big!
XAU₮ can now be traded on @Bitfinex with U.S. Dollar (XAUt/USD), #tether (XAUt/USDt), and #bitcoin (XAUt/BTC).
View the official announcement ⬇️ https://t.co/Sf5PP4bWMp pic.twitter.com/8Qr7WKsj6Q
— tethergold (@tethergold) January 24, 2020
According to a blog post from Tether, the cryptocurrency is backed by gold stored in a secure vault in Switzerland.
In addition, the token is built over the Ethereum and Tron networks (not on Bitcoin/Omni).
The company states:
“XAU₮, which is available as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and as a TRC-20 token on the Tron blockchain, can be transferred to any on-chain address from the purchasers’ Tether wallet.
“Furthermore, Tether Gold (XAU₮) is the only product among the competition that offers zero custody fees and has direct control over the physical gold storage, safely held in a Switzerland vault, adopting best-in-class security and anti-threat measures.
“Today, Tether Gold (XAU₮) is the best way to hold gold.”
However, it’s worth noting that Tether has come under fire in the past regarding its auditability, with claims that only 74% of the Tether stablecoin is actually backed by USD.
Whether each XAU₮ token is fully backed by gold remains to be seen.
Why the need for Tether Gold?
Even though a great deal of cryptocurrency investors and traders prefer USD-backed stablecoins at the moment, there may come a time when gold is preferred.
For instance, if there’s ever another economic crisis or financial meltdown, precious metals such as gold have a tendency to decouple from falling stock and fiat currencies, since people have stored value in precious metals for at least five millennia.
Therefore, having a gold-backed cryptocurrency may be of use if such a doom and gloom scenario happens.
Could XAU₮ take off soon?
Firstly, I’m personally not 100% convinced the token will be fully backed by real gold. In order for me to believe such a statement, a trail of audits is required.
Remember: “Don’t trust, verify.”
Secondly, Tether has been under severe scrutiny multiple times by the SEC and other law enforcement agencies. Will XAU₮ come under the same level of scrutiny?
And thirdly, if central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) take off, what do you think will happen to Tether?
Much like previous e-gold corporations (which I refer to in this useful guide), I personally believe XAU₮ will be blocked, prohibited, shot down, and ripped apart.
Despite all that, I see Tether Gold as a simple-to-use and easy-to-trade alternative to owning real gold and a useful hedge in case things go south with the US dollar.
Having more choice is always better than having less, right?
Will Tether Gold take off soon? Only time will tell.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s only. This article isn’t financial advice or promotional material; it represents my personal opinion and should not be attributed to Coin Rivet.