Ledger is planning on to increase support for stablecoins and looks to increase the usability of tether for all its products and services.
Two storage products, Ledge Nano and Ledge Blue owned by Ledger currently support tether, but Ledge plans on to increase the support of stablecoins, including tether by adding tether to other institutional vault services.
The devaluation of tether in relevance to the US dollar has raised questions in the minds of tether users about their reserves, but there are claims that tether is still quite popular in the Asia-Pacific, according to the new Head of Operations for the Asia-Pacific region, Benjamin Soong.
Mr. Soong believes that USDT (tether) is still very much in demand in the Asia-Pacific countries despite its devaluation in the West. He said:
One thing that is slightly unique in China and South Korea is the demand for USDT. Since both of those countries have capital controls, in terms of your ability to move currency out of the country.
In the eye of Mr. Soong, both China and South Korea have the capacity to move around their currency from the country’s capital account. Hence, they are not really worried about the devaluation of tether. Moreover, Mr. Soong presumes that Chinese and South Korean investors have built the mindset that the cryptocurrencies pegged with the fiat currency or other assets that are in accordance with the traditional capital markets are more safe and profitable.
Despite tether’s recent fall a few weeks back, the USDT is still dominating other cryptocurrencies on Asian exchanges such as Huobi in terms of demand, and an evaluation on active markets by the CoinMarketCap shows how the demand of tether is up on Huobi by approximately 26% in a 24-hour period the last week.
Mr. Benjamin Soong adds:
USDT is a vehicle that is kind of unique in the market out here, that I’ve seen so far.
It’s also surprising for Mr. Soong how stablecoins like tether are running the show in the Chinese and South Korean markets, and according to him, there is nothing like the USDT in the Asia-Pacific region market that he has seen till now.
Due to the success of stablecoins like tether in these markets, Ledger (the company which also supports the MakerDAO’s dollar-linked dai token) has considered adding other stablecoins to grow the custody business (i.e. providing securities to their clients on their assets) and they intend to further support hundreds of kinds of different stablecoins by the end of 2019. Quite ambitious, no?
Yes, but Mr. Pascal Gauthier is positive about the growth of stablecoins in these markets and believes that:
We have a big road of integrating many things right now, including stablecoins.
He surely has a thing for stablecoins and quite rightfully too though.
Mr. Pascal Gauthier is quite confident that he made the right decision on hiring Benjamin Soong, an expert of capital markets who also happens to speak different languages for being in-charge of opening the Paris-based Ledger’s first Asia office in Hong Kong and forming a team of a dozen people to observe the potential of the satellite offices in Japan and Singapore.
Mr. Gauthier is in favor of the fact that hiring a local for such obligations is the key, as they understand the culture better than a foreign expatriate, and that is the foundation of his decision for hiring Mr. Benjamin Soong, other than the fact that Mr. Soong was one of the strongest candidates on paper.
It does not matter that Ledger was a latecomer in the Asian markets as around 30% of the company’s hardware sales are coming from these markets, what matters is their current progress.
Mr. Benjamin Soong also thinks that entering these markets was always a good idea as they are bound to grow in future too, stating:
This is an asset class where the retail has really led the way, following by the institutional players coming in. We’re definitely seeing a lot of traditional asset managers and banks start to explore how they are going to enter and support this asset class moving forward.
Furthermore, Mr. Soong has explained the rational behind Ledger partnering with the Japanese Bank Nomura describing:
They [wealth managers] would ultimately prefer to work with traditional financial institutions, which is why partnering with Nomura makes a lot of sense.
It is true that many traditional asset managers all across the Asia-Pacific would still prefer to work with the traditional financial institutions when it comes to moving their funds, and therefore, Ledger’s partnership with Nomura is thought to be a wise step. And why not?
Various institutions in Hong Kong have seen the progress this new asset class is making and hence, they have gone on to research about custody services of the cryptocurrencies in order to contribute in building this new asset class. Where Ledger is looking to increase its contacts in Hong Kong by forming ties with other institutions such as the Hong Kong-based blockchain startup, Input Output Hong Kong, owned by co-founder of Ethereum, Charles Hoskinson.
Thus, its clear how supporting stablecoins has contributed in making progress in the Asia-Pacific markets for Ledger and the idea of further increasing support for more stablecoins by the company is not at all a bad one.