Bitcoin’s spectacular surge has been the talk of the town, with many analysts and researchers expecting the cryptocurrency to climb to even greater all-time highs. According to a recent analysis, the real reason for Bitcoin’s climb can be attributed to cryptocurrency traders and maturing market fundamentals, and not the introduction of Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra.
Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro, recently tweeted that data suggests a drastic increase in the involvement of cryptocurrency traders who “are already familiar with the market.” The chart showed that Tether, USD, EUR, JPY, Yuan and GBP, all had inflows into Bitcoin. This is quite unsurprising, given the fact that the world’s largest cryptocurrency tested the $13,000 mark on Binance on June 26.
A majority of the capital from Tether was directed into Bitcoin, with some amount being circulated into the Ethereum ecosystem as BTC/ETH pairs. The capital was also pushed into Litecoin, XRP, Bitcoin Cash and some other altcoins such as ZCash, Tron and Cardano.
Ethereum was second in line to receive funds from the Tether treasury, which was later converted to alts such as EOS and Tron. Tether had its own allocations into other altcoins too, with XRP being the biggest beneficiary. After Tether, the money flow was mostly in the form of the US Dollar. As expected, the dollar flow was greatest towards Bitcoin, followed by Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
The U.S Dollar’s dominance in the fiat industry was evident as its compatriots such as the Euro and the Japanese Yen were used only in nominal amounts for cryptocurrency investments. Another striking feature was that fiat currencies such as EUR, JPY, and the GBP only had investments in the form of Bitcoin, while the Chinese Yuan was more diversified. The Yuan was used for Bitcoin as well as for XRP, the third largest cryptocurrency.
Tether Accidentally Mints Tokens Worth $4.5 Billion Due to The Mistake of A Decimal
Tether just escaped a major controversy. The company has repeatedly been blamed of operating on fractional reserves and manipulating markets by creating tokens out of thin air, but the company still made a mistake that could have rejuvenated the same debates. According to WhaleAlert, a Twitter account that focuses on reporting large, suspicious cryptocurrency transactions, Tether created as many as 4.5 billion new USDT tokens, only to burn them immediately. Had those tokens not been burned in time, they would have left a serious impact on the price of both Bitcoin as well as Tether. And when these two cryptocurrencies are affected, the entire market is affected!
The incident happened around 3:25 AM IST on Sunday, 14th of July (i.e. yesterday). Poloniex cryptocurrency exchange was doing a USDT chain swap with help of Tether and it had transferred 50 million USDT tokens via Omni protocol on Bitcoin blockchain to Tether Treasury for the same purpose. Upon receiving those tokens, however, Tether Treasury minted 5 billion tokens of USDT instead of 50 million for being transferred to Poloniex. Fortunately, they identified their mistake before initiating the transfer and burned the extra 4.5 billion tokens immediately. Remaining 50 million tokens were then transferred to some wallet, which presumably belongs to Poloniex.
Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino later confirmed the incident in a tweet. Here’s what he said:
Minting 5 billion tokens instead of 50 million is something that only requires the addition of a zero in the end. To be more precise, it’s a mistake of one decimal point only. But whenever money is involved, misplacement of that one decimal can result in some really cursed maths! Just imagine what would have happened if these 4.5 billion tokens would’ve entered the circulation. Though Poloniex would have returned the extra supply back to Tether as they’re backed by a reputed company (namely Circle), the incident would still have left a far worse impact on the image of Tether. Therefore, Tether team should ensure that similar incidents don’t happen again.
Tether Treasury lands in troubled waters as it accidentally prints 5 billion USDT followed by a subsequent burn
At 5.34 PM UTC, Tether Treasury minted a massive amount of Tether, and the news spread like wildfire. Tether which was already speculated to carry out suspicious transactions was questioned for printing 5 billion USDT, an amount large enough to shake things for Bitcoin.
The CTO of Tether and Bitfinex, Paolo Ardoino was quick to respond before this could be interpreted as manipulation. He informed the community that printing 5 billion USDT was a mistake and that they were intending to mint 50 million as a part of a swap from Omni to Tron Tether.
The CTO said:
“While preparing the issuance for Omni to Tron swap there have been an issue with the token decimals. Please check the burn transactions below”
Poloniex Exchange chimed and said that the minting took place when the exchange was conducting a USDT chain swap with the help of Tether.
“An incorrect amount of USDT was accidentally minted, and this has since been resolved to the intended value.”
Thus, the treasury decided to burn the minted 5 billion USDT and later print the amount that was needed, 50 million USDT. Whale alert provided the details of the burn carried out by the treasury in two sets of transactions. Below are the transaction details for the burn:
Source: Whale Alert
Source: Whale Alert
Ardoino justified the action by telling the community that since they have to work with different toolchains across multiple blockchains, issues happen and they were working towards preventing any such thing in the future. However, even as the alert informed the community of Tether printing 50 million USDT, the price of Bitcoin was noted to be rising post the whole fiasco by 5.46% within a couple of hours.
Bitfinex-Tether CTO claims user demand drives USDT distribution as questions raised against Tether swap
The Bitcoin community was relishing in the coin’s performance recently. However, other crypto-enthusiasts appeared skeptical of the king coin’s growth. The suspicion of Tether and Bitfinex’s involvement in the said surge constantly did the rounds, and with Tether Treasury printing USDT in the name of swaps, this suspicion was strengthened in the community.
Twitter user and crypto-enthusiast, @BenDiFrancesco, posed an intriguing question to Anthony Pompliano about the swap that Bitfinex and Tether CTO, Paolo Ardoino, has been talking about. @BenDiFrancesco asked Pomp,
“Hey @APompliano, as a fan of Both BTC & ETH I’m not trolling here, I’m genuinely curious what you think. The most successful asset ever built on top of Bitcoin is migrating to Ethereum.
Do you still think BTC will be where assets live when we tokenize the world? If so, why?”
Pomp was swift in his reply and told the user that the most secure chain would benefit from the ‘winner takes most market opportunity.’ However, the user pointed out that despite Bitcoin blockchain being considered to be more secure,”no one is putting assets on top of it” and Tether is migrating to Ethereum blockchain.
Paolo Ardoino jumped in by stating that “we are increasing our efforts to support Omni, @Blockstream’s Liquid and LN/RGB to make sure to give the ability to Tether users to use a transport layer secured by Bitcoin network.”
He further added that the distribution of USDT across platforms was purely driven by user demand and that “Interfering with user preference would be detrimental.” However, Tether’s minting and large transactions have been aligning with Bitcoin’s price movement and due to the facts laid out during the Bitfinex-Tether fiasco, a few months back, the market remains suspicious of Tether’s activities.