Just one major cryptocurrency is gaining amid a market-wide sell-off

Most major digital currencies suffered massive drops over the last 24 hours, but one token actually appeared to have posted gains.

It's called tether, and the digital asset aims to link the cryptocurrency environment to the fiat world by tying each token to government-backed currency.

Of the top 50 digital currencies listed by market value on price-checking website CoinMarketCap, the tether token was the only one that was up over the previous day.

The digital currency traded at $1.04 at 10:05 a.m. HK/SIN, according to CoinMarketCap data, and was up 3.23 per cent from a day ago. It had a market cap of $1.69 billion.

On the other hand, the site showed that major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum and ripple were down 15, 16 and 24 per cent over the same period, respectively.

Last year, tether was reportedly hacked and nearly $31 million worth of its tokens were stolen.

On its website, tether claims that its tokens are backed by fiat money that prevents the volatility usually seen in cryptocurrencies.

But tether has seen a fair amount of public criticism, which has included claims that the tokens are not meaningfully backed by US dollars and has also touched on its apparent connection to the British Virgin Islands - which was demonstrated in leaked documents known as the Paradise Papers.

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