Tether May Now Be 11th Largest Bitcoin Holder, Analyst Says

Tether, the company behind the USDT stablecoin, may now be the 11th largest bitcoin holder in the world. This comes after the stablecoin issuer recently published its attestation report for Q2 2023.

According to the report, Tether recorded an increase in excess reserves, which grew by $850 million. This brought the company’s total excess reserves to approximately $3.3 billion.

These excess reserves are profits that the company does not distribute to shareholders as dividends. Instead, Tether keeps them to shore up its 100% reserves, which are used to back all USDT in circulation and keep the token stable.

Tether Holds $1.6 Billion Worth Of BTC In Single Wallet?

In the last quarter, Tether published that it held more than $1.5 billion worth of BTC (about 53,495 BTC) in its reserves. Based on the latest quarterly report, this figure has grown by more than $176 million, bringing the company’s Bitcoin holdings to roughly $1.676 billion (around 55,022 BTC).

Tom Wan, a research analyst at 21.co, found in the last quarter that Tether may be holding all their Bitcoin in one wallet, making them the 12th largest BTC holder at the time. Fast forward to Q2 2023, it appears that the analyst has confirmed his initial speculations.

In the first quarter, the BTC holdings of Tether’s “possible” wallet address matched the BTC amount published in the company’s attestation report. The BTC balance of this address has also increased in the second quarter, corresponding with the amount provided in Tether’s Q2 report.

The analyst noted that only one Bitcoin address matches the figures of Tether’s BTC reserves. And this address, which may belong to the stablecoin issuer, is now the 11th largest Bitcoin holder in the world.

While Wan sought Tether and the company’s CTO Paolo Ardoino to corroborate his findings, there has been no official confirmation from the stablecoin issuer.

Tether’s BTC Holdings Consistent With Initial Plans

This significant amount of BTC Tether holds in its reserves comes as no surprise, especially as the firm has always been clear about its Bitcoin investment intentions. In May, the stablecoin issuer announced plans to invest 15% of its future profit in Bitcoin.

Tether’s CTO Paolo Ardoino, a vocal supporter of Bitcoin, stated that the cryptocurrency’s resilience is the reason for the company’s continuous investment in the asset. 

Ardoino said: 

The decision to invest in Bitcoin, the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency, is underpinned by its strength and potential as an investment asset. Bitcoin has continually proven its resilience and has emerged as a long-term store of value with substantial growth potential. Its limited supply, decentralized nature, and widespread adoption have positioned Bitcoin as a favored choice among institutional and retail investors alike.

However, there have been concerns about Tether and USDT’s exposure to risks due to increased investment in a highly volatile asset such as Bitcoin. 

As of this writing, USDT is the largest stablecoin in the cryptocurrency market, with a market cap of roughly $83.81 billion.