This is an issue that has many pointing their fingers at Tether, as its Treasury continues to issue massive amounts of new USDT in the past few months.
An Unprecedented Trend of USDT Issuance
According to the popular Twitter handle, @WhaleAlert, the Tether Treasury minted 15 million USDT tokens on April 27, 2020.
This comes barely two weeks after the treasury minted almost 120 million USDT tokens on April 13, 2020. Since the beginning of March 2020, the Tether Treasury has issued such a large amount of new USDT that the total supply on the market has grown by 43 percent.
Naturally, this has caused speculation within the market, with some seeing this as evidence of the company being involved in shady activities. However, Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino has come out to clarify that the recent activity is simply Tether replenishing its stock.
PSA: 120M USDt inventory replenish. Note this is a authorized but not issued transaction, meaning that this amount will be used as inventory for next period issuance requests.
Partnership with TRON and Legal Battles
The tokens in question are ERC-20 tokens which were issued via the TRON network. Tether and TRON first signed a deal to allow the issuance of USDT as an ERC-20 token in April 2019. In February 2020, however, Tether carried out a transaction worth $300 million on the TRON network and almost immediately burned the tokens.
#TRON is partnering with @Tether_to, officially introducing USDT into the TRON #blockchain. This integration will elevate our dApp ecosystem, increase DEX liquidity, and enhance accessibility for Partners and institutional investors. $TRX $BTT
Regardless of this, some speculate that this is simply an attempt by Tether to take advantage of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and its effect on the global financial systems to issue an unchecked amount of tokens.
This is besides the fact that there is a general distrust of USDT after a New York Attorney General’s office investigation found that Tether and Bitfinex had colluded to hide millions of dollars in losses by giving Bitfinex access to Tether’s reserves as well as their tokens not being fully backed up with USD.
Despite the scandals and continued suspicion from the public, Tether shows no signs of stopping its issuance of tokens and overall operations.