USDT issuer Tether has up to $1.7B in excess reserves, CTO says
Cryptocurrency firm Tether — the issuer of stablecoin, Tether (USDT $1.00) – expects to make a $700 million profit in the first quarter of 2023, matching the profits of the last quarter of 2022, Tether chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino told Cointelegraph at Paris Blockchain Week 2023.
“I don’t have the final figures yet, but the profit of this quarter will probably match the last quarter of 2022,” Ardoino said, adding that in Q4 2022, Tether generated $700 million of profits. He added that Tether also has an “addition to that $950 million” on Dec. 31, 2022, noting:
So it means that our company equity will grow to $1.5 billion or $1.7 billion that are on top of the reserves that we have that are backing 100% of the assets.
The Tether exec went on to say that USDT is becoming the “safest asset to hold in the world” because the company is different from the banks based on the fractional reserve model. He expressly referred to the ongoing crisis in the United States banking system, with banks like Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapsing due to problems with the fractional reserve model.
Ardoino also mentioned that he is a fan of the major cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC $28,100), which is Tether’s hedge, stating:
I love Bitcoin and that’s our hedge, and that’s why we are in Bitcoin, because we don’t trust those guys that they took so much risk on customer deposits.
As previously reported, Tether aggressively cut its commercial paper backing last year, eventually reducing it to zero by late 2022. In addition to removing commercial paper from its reserves, Tether was replacing those investments with U.S. treasury bills.
The news comes amid Tether continuing to increase its market dominance, with USDT’s market capitalization adding about $8 billion since Feb. 28. At the time of writing, USDT’s market value stands at $79 billion, which is the highest level since May 2022, according to data from CoinGecko.
USDT market capitalization one-year chart. Source: CoinGecko
While USDT market dominance has risen, Circle’s rival stablecoin USD Coin (USDC $1.00) has been losing its market share, with market cap dropping 18% since late February.
Circle has faced major issues due to its exposure to the collapse of SVB, with the USDC stablecoin briefly losing its 1:1 peg with the U.S. dollar. The stablecoin subsequently re-pegged amid Circle announcing Cross River as a new banking partner and expanding ties with BNY Mellon.