Cryptocurrency exchange platform Bitfinex and its Ethereum spinoff, Ethfinex, are now listing four additional stablecoins according to a December 4 Medium post. Bitfinex and Ethfinex will now list USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos, and Gemini USD to be traded against the US dollar. This move appears in line with Bitfinex's stated objective to create a "high quality, unbiased meeting place for every ecosystem and customer."
In November, Bitfinex cited its mission to serve as an agnostic trading platform when it added USDT/USD and EURT/EUR trading pairs, though both EURT and USDT are Tether variants. The addition of stablecoins other than Tether is something of a departure from Bitfinex's course up until this point, though Dai has been available through Ethfinex Trustless since spring.
Stablecoins have been in the news a lot this year, often for their failure to maintain their pegs to the US dollar. In October of this year, the prices of stablecoins such as the Gemini Dollar, USD Coin, True USD, and the Paxos Standard Token made headlines for spiking well above a dollar. Meanwhile, the price of the stablecoin Tether – which is owned by CEO of Bitfinex, Jean-Louis van der Velde – dipped to under $0.92.
During that time period, there was much speculation around Tether's price drop. Some ventured that the fall in price could have something to do with Tether's relationship to Bitfinex, alleged liquidity problems, or a general lack of consumer confidence.
In June of this year, a research paper published by scholars at the University of Texas at Austin suggested that "entities associated with Bitfinex" were using Tether to purchase bitcoin when prices were low in an effort to manipulate the market. Fears over Bitfinex and its stablecoin were only compounded in October when rumors began circulating that Bitfinex was insolvent and without banking services, and it did not possess the cash to back up Tether.
Ethfinex has not received such heavy criticism, though the exchange was still in beta until September.
Apparently, despite price volatility and investor concerns, Bitfinex still sees a strong demand for more stablecoin offerings on the Bitfinex and Ethfinex platforms.