What are the safety concerns of using USDT in P2P transactions?
P2P trading refers to peer-to-peer transactions, also known as peer-to-peer exchange or equal exchange. It refers to the direct sending or receiving of assets or goods from one party to another on the network without the need for intermediaries or third-party institutions. This type of transaction usually takes place on decentralized platforms, such as online auction sites or cryptocurrency exchanges.
P2P trading is widely used in the field of cryptocurrency trading, and one form of it is the trading of USDT with local fiat currencies. Unlike other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, USDT does not fluctuate much in price, so it can be considered as a stable asset equivalent to fiat currency to some extent. Therefore, it is widely used in areas where the value of local fiat currency is unstable or where there is active investment in the cryptocurrency economy.
Compared to USDC, USDT is more popular in Asia. Since 2017, Tether, the issuer of USDT, has begun to promote and expand its presence in Asia. Binance, OKEx, and Huobi have each partnered with Tether. They have established their own USDT markets, launched USDT trading pairs, and become one of Tether's official partners. They have also cooperated with Tether to launch derivative trading businesses such as USDT contract trading and continuously launched new cooperative businesses, such as supporting USDT OTC transactions and USDT stable income products to meet the needs of traders. These partnerships provide traders with more trading options and usage scenarios and further promote the development of USDT in Asia.
In addition to the P2P trading environment, OTC, and trading protection mechanisms provided by compliant exchanges, USDT P2P trading is generally conducted through online platforms or social media channels, such as Telegram, where users find other traders and conduct transactions through private chats. This also brings high fraud risks. For example, in July 2020, several well-known Twitter accounts were hacked to post false Bitcoin giveaway information, leading to traders being defrauded of a large amount of USDT and other digital assets.
Fraud by internal staff is also a risk in USDT P2P trading. For example, in 2019, a major cryptocurrency exchange named BitPoint was hacked, leading to the loss of $28 million worth of cryptocurrencies, including USDT. This incident highlighted the vulnerability of centralized exchanges and the importance of secure storage solutions. As such, it is important for users to carefully choose a reliable and secure platform when engaging in USDT P2P transactions.
In addition, exchange rate risk is also an important issue in USDT P2P trading. For example, in 2021, due to the large fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin, the exchange rate between USDT and Bitcoin also changed significantly, and traders may face exchange rate losses or gains.
Some countries and regions also have strict regulations on cryptocurrency trading, including where USDT is included. For example, in May 2021, the Chinese government issued a notice prohibiting cryptocurrency trading, and it is illegal for individuals holding Chinese mainland identity documents to invest or hold cryptocurrencies, which also brings stricter legal risks to USDT P2P trading.
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