The founder and CEO of Avanti Financial is claiming Tether’s recent disclosure about the stablecoin's reserves may have contributed to the altcoin selloffs last week.
In a series of Saturday tweets, Caitlin Long said that Tether Holdings Limited’s breakdown of Tether’s (USDT) reserves were not invested in “short-term, lower-risk, liquid securities,” but rather credit assets of “who-knows-what quality.” The Avanti CEO claimed traders may have felt compelled to sell other cryptocurrencies to reduce their total risk exposure, given that the stablecoin — ranked sixth with a $58 billion market cap — has the potential to bring down other tokens amid a credit market correction.
“If Tether stays a de facto credit hedge fund by investing reserves this way, markets now can safely predict that Bitcoin and crypto prices will likely exhibit high correlation with credit markets,” said Long. “They will probably correct together.”
Long added that authorities may still choose to crack down on stablecoins following Tether’s full reserve breakdown, but said the crypto industry could benefit from regulatory clarity:
“One of the best things for industry at present would be getting stablecoins to be okay with U.S. regulators, especially the Fed and the SEC. Stablecoins are very important bridges between crypto and the U.S. dollar.”
According to the Tether Holdings Limited report, 75.85% of USDT backing is formed by cash and equivalents, with commercial paper accounting for 65.39% of this category. Long claimed any potential fallout in markets “will have been entirely avoidable” if Tether had invested more in Treasury Bills — only 2.94% out of its total cash, cash equivalents, other short-term deposits and commercial paper — rather than assets with seemingly higher risk.
The CEO’s comments come following the price of Bitcoin (BTC) dropping below $46,000 on some exchanges — the crypto asset is $45,818 at the time of publication, having fallen more than 20% in the last seven days. However, it’s unclear what role Tether’s disclosure may have played in the crypto market. Binance was also in the spotlight as a Bloomberg report claimed that the U.S. Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service were investigating the crypto exchange for alleged “illicit activity.”