Tether, the company behind Tether Dollars (USDT), the world’s most popular and most controversial stablecoin, has “printed” $250 million worth of the stablecoin on the Ethereum blockchain within the last week. According to data from EtherScan.io, $100 million of that amount was printed within the last 24 hours.
Regular issuances of large amounts of the stablecoin have been pretty routine for Tether since the beginning of this year. There have been ten prints of $20 million to $150 million so far this year, one occurring (roughly) every two and a half weeks. Before that, the last print–which was for $30 million–occurred on January 29, 2018.
Tether is Growing–And Fast
Most of the coins that were issued yesterday haven’t been put into circulation yet. Rather, Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex, said of the print that occurred on June 11 that the new USDT is “authorized but not issued”; in other words, it “was created in the treasury wallet that will be used to fulfill future issuance requests.”
Just it means that these tethers were created in the treasury wallet that will be used to full fill future issuance requests.
— Paolo Ardoino (@paoloardoino) June 11, 2019
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According to Tether’s official transparency page, $99.8 million USDT is “authorized but not issued” on the Ethereum blockchain. That means that the $150 million that were issued on June 11th have already been put into circulation–which would imply that the Tether ecosystem is growing, and rapidly.
And indeed, it is–at press time, Tether’s market cap was $3.48 billion; on May 17th (one month ago), it was just $2.8 billion.
The increased usage (and increased marketcap) of Tether dollars likely has much to do with the relatively recent resurgence of positive price movement that has occurred in cryptocurrency markets. Over the same time period, the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies increased from $229 billion to $284 billion; Bitcoin’s market cap has increased from $129 billion to $162 billion.
While the increased market cap is certainly good news for Tether, the company is still facing some legal troubles as it is still embroiled in a case involving cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and the New York Attorney General’s office.
The company was found to have loaned a significant amount of its reserves to Bitfinex to cover some of the exchange’s losses; Tether was also forced to admit that it invested some of its reserves in Bitcoin, causing the crypto community to criticize USDT for not being a stablecoin after all.