Tether Hits Back at Critics; Clarifies Once Again That It Holds No Chinese CP as Reserves

Updated by Ryan James
In Brief
  • Tether clarified that it holds no Chinese commercial paper (CP) on the back of continued industry rumors.
  • An investigation had claimed that Tether's reserves include short-term loans to large Chinese companies.
  • Meanwhile, the stablecoin issuer vows to have no CP holdings by the end of November.
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Stablecoin issuer Tether took to Twitter on July 27 to clarify that it holds no Chinese commercial paper (CP) on the back of industry rumors that continue to claim its portfolio in the vertical is backed by 85% Chinese or Asian commercial papers.

The stablecoin issuer stated, “Tether’s portfolio holds no Chinese commercial paper and as of today, its total commercial paper exposure has been reduced yet again to a mere ~3.7B (from 30B in July 2021) with plans to further decrease to ~200M by the end of August 2022 and to zero by end of October/early November 2022.”

This essentially means that Tether vows to have no CP holdings by the end of November, with Be[In]Crypto reporting the development in early July. Prior to that as well, Tether had categorically denied these rumors, claiming they are being spread to induce panic and generate profits.

Investigation claimed Tether’s exposure to Chinese cos

This month, Tether had shut similar noise around discounted commercial papers that could stress the already weak market more than once. The platform has remarked again that, “Tether continues to ensure that it has a diversified portfolio with limits to exposure on individual issuers or assets. Its reduction in commercial paper is a commitment to its community.”

However, what’s interesting is that a Bloomberg investigation claimed last year that Tether’s reserves included short-term loans to large Chinese corporations. And as a result of the downturn in the Chinese property market, concerns about the liquidity of assets associated with the sector have been raised.

Tether’s Alex Welch told the media outlet in an emailed statement that the company discloses its CP reserves “to the rating level,” stating, “When we had commercial paper, we always remained conservative and these were rated A2 or better from agencies such as Fitch and Standard and Poor’s,”

Meanwhile, as Tether has stated it has reduced its commercial paper holdings, it had also announced in its last assurance opinion that over 47% of total USDT reserves are now US Treasuries with commercial paper making up less than 25% of USDT’s backing.

Largest stablecoin under probe

That said, Tether had also denied any negative impact on the stablecoin due to what went down with Celsius’ bankruptcy. However, recent media reports suggest that Tether is under investigation for an $840 million loan it recovered from Celsius Network.

However, the issuer has affirmed that “Tether is determined to lead the stablecoin market through the next wave of adoption and it will do so proudly regardless of critics and rumors.”

At the time of writing, Tether is pegged to the dollar while maintaining the third-largest capitalization of over $65 billion in the crypto market. As per data by CoinGecko, its 24-hour trading volume is just above $55 billion.

Meanwhile, research by IntoTheBlock reveals that only 8% of the holders are at a loss at current price levels, with 89% of investors breaking even with no profits or losses.

Interestingly, over 57% of Tether holders are considered longer-term investors, with a holding period of over one year. The data suggests that 37% of Tether holders held the stablecoin for up to one year, with only 5% exiting its market in under one month.

A spokesperson for Tether had previously told Bloomberg it is not uncommon for many investors to hold their funds in Tether and swap them for other stable assets.

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