For a long time, cryptocurrencies have existed in isolation from traditional finance. You could have earned handsome profits in Bitcoin or other cryptos, but until you cashed out, they were just that – unrealized gains susceptible to disappear once a sudden market crash started. The advent of stablecoins such as USDT eliminated the need for cash withdrawals – now you can remain crypto-only and still enjoy your hard-earned profits.
This guide will help you learn the basics of USDT and how to purchase it on Bitpapa, a global p2p marketplace with a growing presence in Nigeria.
The primary aim of a stablecoin is to provide a parity peg to another asset (in most cases, the US dollar) without losing the benefits of a cryptocurrency. There are a number of ways to achieve this, but the simplest and most reliable one is by keeping the reserves of the asset whose value the stablecoin represents.
In this way, the same quantity of a fiat-collateralized stablecoin can be exchanged for the same quantity of the reserve fiat currency at any time, which ensures the peg. And as long as the stablecoin is fully collateralized, any substantial deviation from the parity to either side (above or below parity) will present a risk-free arbitrage opportunity.
USDT stablecoin, which is issued by Tether, is backed in a 1:1 ratio by the respective amount of US dollars and dollar derivatives such as US Treasury bonds. Consequently, the price of 1 USDT oscillates around the parity with the dollar:
It should be noted, though, that most of the time USDT actually trades above parity at a slight premium to the dollar, which reflects its utility as a hedge against volatility of cryptocurrency assets.
In practical terms, you can think of USDT as the American dollar itself which has been made into a cryptocurrency and which can be used as one. You can send and receive USDT pretty much like regular cryptos.
In fact, USDT is available across all major blockchains (on 11 protocols at the moment), although USDT issued on one blockchain, for example, USDT Omni on Bitcoin, is not compatible on the transactional level with itself on another, for example, USDT ERC20 on Ethereum (just like BTC and ETH are different cryptocurrencies).
But it doesn’t really matter since they are interchangeable at the exchange level, as long as the exchange supports both varieties.
The major use case for stablecoins is to provide cryptocurrency investors with a safe haven asset. Bitcoin, let alone other cryptos, is famous for its extreme volatility. After a good rise, it’s only natural to look for booking profits and reducing one’s exposure to crypto, but without cashing out fully – until the price becomes attractive again to buy in.
It should be asked, though, why go to such lengths if we could just buy the American dollar itself and get done with it? Seriously, why all the fuss with stablecoins?
Of course, if you could sell crypto for real dollars, stablecoins wouldn’t make a lot of sense in this role specifically. But this implicitly assumes that converting crypto to fiat is as easy as exchanging one coin for another. Well, for a trader, there’s no particular difference, indeed. He would sell his Bitcoin for USD just as quickly as he would trade BTC for Ether or any other available crypto, and be happy like a dog with two tails.
However, this is not the case for exchanges. Sure, cryptocurrencies are decentralized with lax or lacking regulations, and a cryptocurrency trading platform can add support for as many cryptos as it may wish – and no one outside crypto would ever raise an eyebrow.
Enabling support for a fiat currency would imply providing means to deposit and withdraw it (these are known as fiat on- and offramps). That, in turn, incurs becoming a financial institution that accepts money from clients (and probably, requires buying a license), as well as entails the need to comply with countless rules and regulations.
In short, it is not just about adding USD to the list of supported assets. In the past, some shady exchanges did in fact enable USD conversions without actually supporting USD deposits and withdrawals. But how could you possibly know if there was any real USD there at all, to make it count?
On the bright side, adding USDT to the stack of available cryptocurrencies is even easier than adding support for a new cryptocurrency. Remember, USDT works on top of existing blockchains, and everything is already in place once you listed a coin. For example, on Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume, you cannot buy or sell anything for USD per se – your only option is USDT.
In a nutshell, as long as the stablecoin keeps its peg and you can withdraw it like a normal cryptocurrency (think Bitcoin here), USDT turns out to be more efficient and convenient for most practical purposes than the good old plain vanilla dollar.
That's basically the main reason why USDT and its competitors such as USDC have gained so much traction in the crypto market.
Because USDT is pegged to the dollar, it is possible to use the stablecoin as a store of value on its own. This use will be especially alluring to investors and traders from countries with high inflation rates, and Nigeria is one of them.
You don’t need to be a cryptocurrency investor or trader to leverage USDT in this role. The truth is, you may even dislike cryptos as a whole and still use USDT as a hedge against a depreciating local currency such as the Naira (NGN) – just like you would use the original dollar if you could get it as easily.
You can buy USDT with NGN on a cryptocurrency exchange (for example, Binance) or with a swap (exchanger) service (such as NairaEx). However, only p2p platforms (marketplaces) combine the advantages of traditional exchanges and exchanger services while not suffering from their flaws.
Indeed, to buy cryptocurrency (stablecoins included) on a traditional exchange, you first need to deposit fiat there. On a p2p marketplace, however, the money is paid by the buyer to the seller directly, without the marketplace processing the payment. This is a huge advantage because you don’t need to waste time and money (as fees) for sending funds to your exchange account before you can even start trading.
And Bitpapa is one such marketplace that recently opened doors to Nigerian users.
On this platform, you can now trade USDT (as well as such cryptos as Bitcoin, Ethereum, TON, and Monero) for Naira with other users from Nigeria and across the world in a fair, transparent and secure manner:
The marketplace works as an escrow agent, creating an environment in which both parties either win or, well, no one loses.
When the trade is opened, the seller’s coins are locked in an escrow account, and he can’t make off after receiving the payment from the buyer. In turn, the buyer can’t rip off the seller as he won’t get the coins before the seller himself confirms the payment.
Like other similar marketplaces, Bitpapa offers a huge choice of payment methods that include regular ones like bank transfers, debit/credit payments as well as global payment systems (for example, ApplePay) and local or regional ones such as Chipper Cash. Moreover, if you don’t find your favorite method, it can be quickly added.
This is in contrast with traditional exchanges which rarely boast more than a couple methods to deposit and withdraw fiat (something like bank transfer).
Just select the cryptocurrency to buy (USDT), the fiat currency to pay with (NGN) and you are ready to go.
If you are buying (and selling) using existing offers, there are no trading fees.
But most importantly, unlike other exchanges and marketplaces (Binance, LocalBitcoins, and their likes), Bitpapa won’t force you to pass the ID verification, either directly, by disabling the possibility to trade until you confirm your identity, or tacitly, by setting limits on how much you can trade without verification.
On Bitpapa, you can buy as much USDT (or any other crypto) as you need and remain completely anonymous all the time.
There are two key takeaways in respect to USDT. First, USDT, as well as other stablecoins, allows disinvesting from regular cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) without actually leaving the crypto space. This allows building flexible, simple and efficient investment strategies taking advantage of smaller price movements in crypto.
Further, USDT and fiat-collateralized stablecoins in general can be used on their own as tools for protecting your wealth in fiat. This is all the more so in countries like Nigeria, where the national currency is locked in a spiral of perpetual depreciation and devaluation. Now you no longer need to use the US dollar itself as a safe-haven asset.
To sum it up, USDT is a viable and efficient alternative to the dollar and other hard currencies whenever you need them.
Q: How Do You Trade USDT on Bitpapa?
A: You can trade USDT for the Nigerian Naira in a trustless, peer-to-peer way using an array of payment methods available in Nigeria.
Q: Can I Sell USDT on Bitpapa?
A: Yes, you can both buy and sell USDT on Bitpapa for the Nigerian Naira.
Q: What Platform Is USDT On?
A: USDT can be traded on traditional exchanges such as Binance and p2p marketplaces such as Bitpapa.
Q: How Do I Get the USDT Wallet on Bitpapa?
A: When you register with the marketplace, wallets for USDT and other cryptocurrencies supported on the platform are created automatically.