Unexplained supply spikes have become commonplace on the Tether charts. On Monday, three days after Bitfinex's chief strategy officer resigned, Tether continued its minting mania.
Per Live Coin Watch, the unsanctioned cryptocurrency-equivalent to the US dollar now boasts a $2.7 billion market capitalization (at time of publication). According to CoinMarketCap, the USDT claims a circulating supply of 2.7 billion units and a total supply of 3.08 billion units. (It's not immediately clear why this discrepancy exists.)
Last week, Tether released a rather dubious "transparency update," in which it claimed to have full reserves for the tokens that it's issued. Observers soon cast doubt on this report, as the information was prepared by a law firm (rather than an accounting firm). Additionally, the already sparse report did not conform to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) or generally accepted accounting standards (GAAS).
With such little information available about Tether's organization or practices, it's difficult to avoid conspiracy theory territory. Each time the company creates more USDT, it adds fuel to the fire of speculation and the cries of foul:
One commentator, Bennett Tomlin, has posted his independent questions and findings on Twitter.
Note: ETHNews previously reported on Bitfinex's ties to Noble Bank International, so Tether's affiliation shouldn't come as a huge surprise.
Tomlin also pointed out an interesting link between Tether's law firm and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Brock Pierce. He alleges that Pierce has had a relationship with the firm since at least 2014.
With Tether recently making the jump into the world's top 10 cryptocurrencies, many in the community are demanding answers. USDT is clearly a big player in the crypto-markets, and its management company has not been forthcoming with information about its operations or financing. Per CoinMarketCap, Tether accounts for $1.8 billion worth of trading volume in the last 24 hours, a figure that trails only bitcoin (which claims $3.1 billion worth of trading volume in the last day).
It's all a bit difficult to wrap one's mind around, but the charts certainly look strange.