Why Is Crypto Giant Tether Risking It All Over North Korea?
If there’s any lesson crypto companies should have learned from this year so far — a mere eight months that have vaporized some $2 trillion in value — it’s that the world’s continued existence doesn’t depend on them being around. It wasn’t always this way, though. Last year, the U.S. Treasury issued a report on a specific subset of the crypto world known as stablecoins (which are supposed to stay at a fixed value, like $1) and the potential that its collapse could trigger a Lehman Brothers–type economic implosion. Such a report gave the impression that some of these companies, specifically the one that issued Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin, was essentially too big to fail. But since then, some of the biggest stablecoins, pseudo-banks, and hedge funds have collapsed under their own weight since April, and while it’s depressed this specific industry, that’s exactly zero percent of the reason the global economy has started to slow.