In just nine days, the USDT stablecoin grew by another billion US dollars.
The market capitalization of the stablecoin tethered to the US dollar ( USDT ) has been soaring in recent weeks, although it could also have been a driving force for the record-breaking climb of Bitcoin ( BTC ).
Paolo Ardoino, who is both CTO of Tether and of the related crypto exchange Bitfinex, confirmed on Twitter Thursday that the amount of USDT in circulation had increased by another $ 1 billion in just nine days. This is the second fastest billion increase in stablecoin history.
The previous record was set on September 4, 2020, when it took Tether just eight days to grow $ 1 billion
At the time of going to press, Tether’s market capitalization is just under $ 19 billion, which means that the amount of stablecoin in circulation is roughly USDT19 billion, as each unit is said to have an approximate value of $ 1.00.
Tether’s market capitalization has nearly quadrupled since early 2020, data from CoinMarketCap shows.
With the current amount in circulation, Tether has the fourth largest market capitalization of all crypto projects.
As a reminder: Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that get their eponymous (value) stability by being linked to an external asset, such as Tether, which is linked to the US dollar, for example.
The USDT and other stablecoins are therefore particularly suitable as “access ramps” for crypto investors, as they first buy stablecoins with their local currencies and then use them to later buy crypto currencies. Due to their stable value, stablecoins are also perfect for temporarily parking crypto funds before they are reinvested or booked out.
However, there are doubts that Tether’s USDT is really fully hedged in US dollars, as the company behind the stablecoin has never fully disclosed its own books
These doubts were reinforced last year when the influential financial portal Bloomberg reported that only 74% of the USDT in circulation at the time was backed by cash reserves and short-term securities. In the light of these findings, criticism of the stablecoin provider’s expansionary “monetary policy” is growing louder.
In addition, Tether is operated by the same management as the Bitfinex crypto exchange, which in turn is one of the world’s leading crypto trading platforms. This affiliation has also caused criticism in the past, because Tether and Bitfinex are accused of having manipulated the market together during the great crypto hype of 2017. However, this has never been conclusively proven .
Earlier this year, a legal expert confirmed to Cointelegraph that it is difficult to really quantify the extent of market manipulation for a young asset class like cryptocurrencies.
Regardless, Tether remains the market-leading stablecoin, accounting for more than three-quarters of the market capitalization of all stablecoins.