Crypto-friendly hotel booking giant Travala now accepts payment from a controversial cryptocurrency leader.
On Jan. 10, Travala announced that Tether (USDT) is now a valid form of payment at its two million linked properties. Travala CEO Matt Luczynski said:
“Part of our mission is to provide our users with a wide choice of the most well known and used cryptocurrencies so it made perfect sense for us to integrate USDT as a payment option on Travala.com.”
Tether’s position in the crypto market
Tether entered the crypto market in 2017. The stablecoin promised to avoid price fluctuations with its one-to-one ratio with fiat currency. Merchants showed eagerness for the Hong Kong-based coin.
“Merchants used to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and convert it into Tether in order to hedge against the volatility,” said Sean Mackay, operations lead at PaymentsSource, a financial services resource. “Now we are seeing the payments just being done directly in Tether.”
Stablecoin faces legal woes
Last April, New York Attorney General Letitia James charged Tether’s parent company, Tether Limited, of colluding with parent company, iFinex, and using Tether’s reserve funds to cover the loss of more than $850 million in client and corporate funds from crypto exchange Bitfinex, thus undermining USDT’s claims to stability based on USD reserves.
Despite iFinex’s legal difficulties, and despite having the fifth-highest market capitalization, Tether continues to see the highest daily and monthly trading volume. As of writing, Tether boasts a 24-hour trading volume of nearly $26.5 billion — exceeding Bitcoin’s $22.5 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.