The stablecoin Tether may not be as stable as many have believed—not that this would be a huge surprise to some. It would appear that Puerto Rico’s Noble Bank, reportedly one of the major repositories of Tether, is having serious financial issues. As a bank that supposedly holds a 1-to-1 ratio of Tether to U.S. dollar, the fact that the financial institution is “desperately” looking for cash raises a number of questions.
Noble Bank was first identified as being involved with Tether this past February. Since then, a large number of Tether have been produced. Since each coin must have a physical dollar behind it, the amount of dollars stored in the banks, in theory, should be extremely high.
However, Noble Bank is looking for a serious injection of funds. Two sources close to the bank have indicated that it has already contacted at least one major Tether holder in an effort to unload an unspecified amount of coins, but the holder rejected the request. One of the sources said, “If Noble doesn’t get cash soon, they will only have a few days left. They’re desperate.”
Tether might also be in a bad position. An unidentified source for a major crypto exchange told the crypto media outlet Modern Consensus that a Tether holder has been trying to dump “tens of millions of tethers,” but that the individual has not found a taker. That kind of release at once could have dire consequences on the stability of the stablecoin and could make it obsolete.
There have already been accusations of improprieties among the Tether group. On more than one occasion, reports have surfaced that the company has been releasing tethers that weren’t supported by any asset, and using them to purchase other cryptocurrencies.
Tether is also facing competition from several other stablecoins. Gemini and Paxos have introduced stablecoins recently, both of which are regulated and audited by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). Tether has been without an auditor since this past January and has made the questionable remark that auditing the coin is an impossibility. It would seem that, if there were one dollar for every tether, an audit would be a relatively simple process to complete. Circle also has introduced its own stablecoin. The coin itself isn’t regulated; however, Circle is.
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