Another outside observer of the controversial tether cryptocurrency is warning about the dangers it presents for the uninterrupted operation of USDT exchanges. Weiss Ratings is seeking to educate investors on the systematic risk tether introduces to the ecosystem.
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Weiss Ratings, an independent U.S. agency which recently published letter grades for cryptocurrencies, has issued an alert to investors about the dangers of tether (USDT). It highlights common fears about the stablecoin which is claimed to be fully covered by U.S. dollar reserves.
“The big issue: There’s never been an audit, and the folks behind Tether has been quite shady when asked. They have continuously claimed their tokens are backed 100% by actual dollars, yet they have failed to present any evidence to support this claim. On social media, there appears to be consensus that what Tether is actually doing is running a fractional reserve system. In other words, most observers claim they DO NOT have the dollars to back up all those Tether coins. I tend to agree. It’s just too suspicious,” says Weiss analyst Juan M. Villaverde.
Weiss explains how the importance of USDT to the entire ecosystem is that many non-fiat exchanges (like Binance or Okex) use it as a proxy for real dollars in trading. Because of this, it is the third most traded cryptocurrency and the only one with trading volumes that regularly exceed its market cap. These exchanges are thus dependent on tether for liquidity and put investors at risk if any government decides to pull the plug out of its printers. Some consider this to be a likely scenario under U.S. law.
“The consequences of hanky-panky could be far-reaching. What happens if Tether does turn out to be fraudulent? Or what happens if a major government determines that cryptocurrencies like Tether are being used by exchanges to avoid regulations? What if this large source of liquidity suddenly evaporates?” Villaverde asks. “Conceivably, it could cause exchange failures. It could drive investors to liquidate their positions, causing sharp declines in market prices.”
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