(Bloomberg) -- Tether, the operator of the world’s most used cryptocurrency, said it had reduced the amount of commercial paper in the reserve backing its $74 billion stablecoin, revealing information about its holdings while dollar-pegged assets face tougher scrutiny from regulators.
Tether Holdings Ltd. had assets totaling at least $82.4 billion as of March 31, along with $82.2 billion in liabilities relating to the digital tokens it issues, according to an assurance from Cayman Islands-based Moore Cayman.
Tether is the issuer of USDT, a stablecoin which relies on a reserve of US dollar and dollar-equivalent assets to maintain a one-to-one peg with the currency. The quality of those reserves have previously been called into question for an over-reliance on assets with limited liquidity, with criticism levied at Tether over its lack of transparency on the matter.
The crypto company was brought under an intense spotlight over the last week following the collapse of algorithmic stablecoin Terra, which briefly knocked USDT off its peg with the dollar during a period of mass market instability.
Tether Loses Dollar Peg as Crypto Anxiety Hits No. 1 Stablecoin
In a statement on Thursday, Tether noted a 17% decrease in its commercial paper holdings to $19.9 billion compared to the previous quarter, and added that it had completed a further 20% reduction on that amount since April 1, which will be included in its upcoming report for the second quarter.
Conversely, Tether said it had increased its investments in money market funds and US Treasury bills, rising more than 13% to a total of $39.2 billion. The average rating of its commercial paper and certificates of deposit has increased from A-2 to A-1, it added, while secured loans have decreased by $1 billion.
In February 2021, Tether and affiliated companies agreed to provide quarterly reports to New York as part of a settlement over allegations that it hid the loss of funds and lied about reserves in prior years.
Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer at Tether, said the firm had “never once failed to honor a redemption request” from any customer seeking to offload USDT via its own website for verified clients. The value of USDT had slipped as low as 95 cents on crypto exchanges during the May 12 de-peg, but Tether said it continued to offer redemptions at $1 throughout that time.
“This latest attestation further highlights that Tether is fully backed and that the composition of its reserves is strong, conservative, and liquid,” Ardoino said in a blog post.
Tether’s total market circulation has taken a hit of more than $8.9 billion since the collapse of Terra first began on May 7, according to data from CoinGecko. Collateralized rivals such as Circle’s USD Coin have risen in comparison.
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