On July 3, Binance, which is one of the world's largest digital currency exchanges, announced that on July 4 it would be transferring all of its Tether accounts (and their associated addresses) from an Omni-based blockchain to an ERC-20-based Ethereum blockchain. The change will affect anyone who keeps the stablecoin in a Binance-controlled wallet.
According to the announcement, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. UTC time on July 4 Binance users will not be able to either withdraw or deposit Tether from the exchange. This is so that the company can make all necessary system changes. Then, after the transfer goes into effect, users will only be able to withdraw ERC-20-based Tether. Users, however, will still be able to deposit Omni-based Tether at the exchange. They can do this by making the deposits into their old Omni-based addresses.
Binance is not the only major digital currency exchange that is switching its systems to support the currency change. It is also being reported that Poloniex began supporting ERC-20-based Tether on July 3. Though, unlike with Binance, Poloniex will continue to allow users to both withdraw and deposit Omni-based Tether. But, at the same time, the exchange insists that users will find that ERC-20-based Tether transactions are faster than corresponding Omni-based transactions. They also insist that ERC-20-based Tether transactions are cheaper as well.
In February, the digital currency exchange Huobi began supporting ERC-20-based Tether. Like with Poloniex, Huobi has continued to fully support both ERC-20-based Tether and Omni-based Tether. Also like Poloniex, the exchange insists that ERC-20-based Tether is superior. They say that the deposit and withdrawal process for ERC-20-based Tether is both faster and smoother.
Tether was launched in 2014 as a means of allowing people to use cryptocurrencies without the risk of dramatic price fluctuations. Unlike standard digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Tether's price is tied to either the U.S. dollar or the euro.
In January of last year, Tether announced that their currencies would be available on the Ethereum blockchain, which provides numerous advantages over the original Omni-based currencies.