Tether boosts transparency with real-time reserve reporting
Tether, the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin USDT, has announced that it will begin publishing reserve reports in real time in 2024. This move comes amid increasing regulatory scrutiny of the stablecoin industry and calls for greater transparency.
This commitment comes was made public in a Bloomberg interview with Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s chief technology officer and soon-to-be CEO.
As it stands, Tether updates its reserve information once daily, as published on the issuer’s transparency page. Beyond this, the firm releases monthly reserve reports and conducts quarterly reviews.
In 2021, Tether faced a $42.5 million penalty from The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on charges that USDT, for a substantial duration (26 months) between 2016 and 2018, lacked complete backing.
Despite this setback, Tether’s growth trajectory has been upward. Per its recent quarterly attestation, Tether maintains a $3.3 billion liquidity buffer to ensure stability within the USDT ecosystem and foster trust among stakeholders.
Overall, the company holds assets totaling $86.1 billion, and its liabilities stand at $82.8 billion, indicating a reserve backing of over 100%.
Tether, which is owned by Hong Kong-headquartered Ifinex, also provided a breakdown of its reserves, as well as a complete list of USDT reserve custodians. Specifically, the company holds a surplus in shareholder capital cushion of $3.29 billion across 15 different blockchain ecosystems. With the exception of Algorand and Polygon, Tether has the authorization to issue USDT tokens in large quantities.
Among these ecosystems, Solana takes the lead with a pre-authorized issuance value of $1.57 billion, followed by Ethereum and Tron with pre-authorizations of $617 million and $353 million, respectively.
Tether hasn’t given any statement regarding how important it is to have pre-authorization for issuance in relation to transparency and trust.
Tether’s transparency report contradicts ongoing concerns about its liquidity and asset backing. While Tether faced a $41 million fine by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2021 for sharing “untrue” statements about its reserves, recent transparency reports have not raised flags from authorities over the past two years.
Tether has switched the accounting firm that audits the massive reserves that back its USDT token to BDO Italia, the 5th largest accounting firm in the world. It officially began working with BDO Italia in July 2022 for its quarterly attestations. With this alignment, the issuer moved towards the release of its attestations from a quarterly basis to monthly reports.
Tether made headlines earlier this month after Paolo Ardoino, the firm’s former CTO, was promoted to the CEO role. The previous CEO, Jean-Louis van der Velde, will now be contributing in an advisory capacity.