Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT)–Despite Tether (USDT) printing over half a billion dollars worth of new coinage throughout the month of August, financial news outlet Bloomberg reports the move has had little to no impact upon the crypto markets.
USDT No Longer Impacting Bitcoin Price
While the company behind the most popular stablecoin cryptocurrency, now ranked 8th in total market capitalization with $2.84 billion in circulation, has been the target of numerous investigations, particularly those pertaining to the assets backing the coin, August’s massive influx of new tethers is apparently not swaying the crypto markets. Despite adding an additional $500 million worth to the total market capitalization, a move that has in the past brought accusations of Tether and its partners artificially propping up the price of the industry, Bloomberg reports that the link between new USDT hitting exchanges and an increasing Bitcoin price has eroded over the past year. Whether because of the prolonged bear cycle of 2018, which is already drawing attention for its investor fatigue, or a new market force at work, Tether no longer has the same impact as in the past.
Several economists and market analysts, most recently a group out of the University of Texas, have been observing Tether, it’s regular injecting of USDT into the market and the impact that has upon crypto prices to conclude that some form of manipulation or price stabilization is occuring. With the massive influx of freshly minted Tethers throughout the month of August, Bloomberg feels confident concluding that the input of the high-profile stablecoin is no longer swaying prices. Bloomberg also refutes another paper by the research group Chainalysis, which made the claim that USDT is influencing prices of altcoins and smaller capitalization cryptocurrencies, even if the stablecoin fails to move the price of BTC as it did with some regularity throughout 2017. Citing as an example, Bloomberg looks at August’s push of half a billion dollars worth of USDT into the crypto markets, without a corresponding price increase–or stabilization–for Bitcoin, in addition to other popular currencies such as EOS and NEO. Instead, altcoins have been largely in decline, with the price of Bitcoin fluctuating throughout the $6000 – $7000 range since the beginning of the month.
Whereas past injections of Tether, particularly to the tune of half a billion dollars (or roughly 17 percent of the total Tether now in circulation) would have corresponded to a significant price movement for Bitcoin, and the crypto markets in general. Instead, August 2018 has seen one of the steepest declines across the board for BTC and altcoins, with most currencies experiences double-digit losses in an already prolonged bear market. This has led some to the conclusion that either Tether is not directly manipulating the market with its timing and method for USDT injection–or at the very least not attempting to do so–or that the same forces that coupled Bitcoin rallies so closely with Tether injections have evaporated from the market.
Some have found stablecoins to be an interesting caveat to the high volatility, high risk of cryptocurrency investing. Compared to BTC and other altcoins, USDT and its brand of stablecoins provide the benefits of cryptocurrency while pegging the valuation to a fixed amount–in this case the U.S. dollar. Some find that the currencies exhibit too much centralization, and lack the departure from government fiat that has been so enticingly portrayed in the majority of cryptocurrencies. However, with the slumping crypto markets throughout 2018, Tether has become a safe harbor for investor funds, particularly those left on exchanges to ride out the price volatility of the market.