Mainstream stablecoin Tether is expanding its stablecoin offering with a new cryptocurrency pegged to the British Pound Sterling (GBP).
Tether officially announced on Wednesday that its upcoming stablecoin, GBPT, will launch in early July and will initially be supported by the Ethereum blockchain.
GBPT will be a stable digital currency pegged 1:1 to GBPT, aiming to provide a faster and cheaper option to transfer assets.
GBPT joins a family of four other tokens pegged to fiat currencies (USDT), including the largest stablecoin by market capitalization, USDT. Other stablecoins include the euro pegged to the euro, the Chinese offshore CNHT to the yuan as well as the recently launched MXNT, a Mexican stablecoin pegged to the peso.
According to the announcement, GBPT will be built by the team of developers behind Tether USDT and operate under its main website Tether.to:
“We hope to help drive this innovation by providing cryptocurrency users around the world with access to a GBP-denominated stablecoin issued by the largest stablecoin issuer […] Tether is ready and willing to work with UK regulators to make this goal a reality. He looks forward to the continued adoption of the stablecoin Tether.”
Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s chief technology officer, noted that the UK is a prime location for the next wave of industry transformation, adding:
The announcement also mentions that in April 2022, HM Treasury announced plans to make the country a global hub for cryptocurrencies and introduce stablecoins into its regulatory framework. The UK Department of Economy and Finance has also planned to amend its regulatory framework to include stablecoins as a means of payment.
Related: Stable Coin Market Share Record Points to Crypto Rise: JPMorgan
The launch of GBPT Tether comes amid the company’s main stablecoin, USDT, which plunged below $70 billion in market capitalization for the first time since October 2021. The former stablecoin reached a value above $80 billion in May 2022.
Tether’s market cap shrinkage came amid the ongoing market downturn and uncertainty over stablecoins, caused by the failure of algorithmic stablecoins like Terra USD. Unlike algorithmic stablecoins, asset-backed stablecoins like Tether tokens are 100% backed by cash or its equivalent like bank deposits, treasury bills, etc.