Controversial cryptocurrency company Tether has "printed" $415 million worth of new tokens in August, vaulting the so-called "stablecoin" into the eighth position in the market cap rankings.
Tether Market Cap Hits All-Time High
CCN reported last week that Tether had already issued close to $200 million worth of USDT in August, and the firm kept the virtual printing presses running in the days that followed. The firm even issued 20 million USDT on Saturday, bringing the cumulative monthly total to $415 million at the time of writing.
Tether now has a market cap of $2.7 billion, which marks a new all-time high and makes USDT the eighth-most valuable cryptocurrency. The token also boasts more trading volume than any other cryptocurrency, except for bitcoin. Over the past 24 hours, nearly $2.6 billion worth of USDT has changed hands, representing a volume-to-market cap ratio of 95 percent.
According to the USDT "Rich List," the Tether Treasury is holding another $251 million worth of tethers that have been authorized for issuance but not yet been released onto the market.
Why USDT is Controversial
Tether's USDT token, often stylized as "tether," is the most well-known of the stablecoins, cryptocurrency tokens that in one way or another have their values pegged to another asset, most frequently the US dollar. Stablecoins are most often used as USD proxies on cryptocurrency exchanges since these firms often struggle to acquire the banking partnerships necessary to list fiat trading pairs directly.
Supposedly, every USDT token is backed by a real dollar stored in a Tether-controlled bank account, and the firm has released a report from a renowned U.S. law firm supporting that claim.
However, despite multitudinous calls from critics, the company has yet to submit to a full audit. Tether has claimed that this is because mainstream auditors will not work with cryptocurrency companies, but the Tezos Foundation recently announced that "Big Four" accounting firm PwC had agreed to audit its balance sheet.
In addition to allegations that USDT has been used to manipulate the bitcoin price, the Tether company has faced criticism for operating behind a veil of secrecy. The firm has said that it plans to operate less opaquely moving forward, and, along with publishing its recent "Transparency Report," the company has hired a former Bank of Montreal executive to head its regulatory compliance efforts.
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