The controversy surrounding the correlation between the release of new Tethers (USDT) and dramatic price spikes led by Bitfinex trading continues. 20 million new USDT were released shortly before a single market buy of approximately $13.5 million USD worth of bitcoin was executed on the 8th of November. The sudden spike in buying pressure quickly drove the price of bitcoin from $7075 to $7350 in less than 60 minutes. Since then, an additional 20 million USDT have been released into circulation on the 9th, and another 30 million USDT on the 10th of November.
Approximately 110 Million USDT Have Been Released Since November 3rd
Many traders are noting an increasing correlation between the release of significant quantities of Tether and sudden movements in the price of bitcoin, with some expressing concerns at the speed with which a large volume of margin trades are executed following the release of new USDT.
Notorious Bitfinex critic Bitcrypto’ed has documented the market action that took place immediately following the release of 20 million USDT on the 8th of November. According to data shared by Bitcrypto’ed, $25 million USD worth of margin longs were executed in less than 30 minutes including a single market order estimated to be valued at $13.5 million USD. As a consequence, the price of bitcoin shot from approximately $7075 USD to roughly $7350 in less than one hour.
During 2017, the Number of Tethers in Supply Has Increased by More Than 3400%
The total supply of Tether has risen from less than 15 million in January to over 550 million as of this writing – comprising a more than 3400% increase since the start of the year. To some, this dramatic rise in the number of Tether has appeared significant as Bitfinex, a majority shareholder in Tether, appears to have failed to attain banking services since Taiwanese banks associated with Wells Fargo terminated the processing of wire transfers to the exchange, shortly after which Tether posted the following statement on their website:
“Tether is currently expecting continued delays in processing international wires to and from tether. to users… Since April 18, 2017, all incoming international wires to Tether have been blocked and refused by our Taiwanese banks. As such, we do not expect the supply of tethers to increase substantially until these constraints have been lifted.”
Although Phil Potter of Bitfinex has sought to distance the relationship between the two companies, stating that “Tether is a completely separate entity [from Bitfinex],” he has conceded that Tether “operates through the same money service money operator license that Bitfinex operates under in Hong Kong.” In response to questions regarding Tether’s banking relationships, Mr. Potter of Bitfinex has previously stated that Tether “ha[s] several banks in multiple jurisdictions, our principal banking relationships are in Taiwan.” Notably, however, he has failed to reveal what banking institutions provide services to the company since April, further arousing suspicions.
What do you make of the vast quantities of USDT that have recently been released? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!