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Tether promises an audit in ‘months’ as Paxos claims USDT is not a real stablecoin

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There will be an official audit of the world’s most popular stablecoin Tether within months according to the project’s general counsel.

An audit for the world’s third-largest digital asset has been awaited for several years and increased regulatory pressure appears to have accelerated the process.

In a rare mainstream media interview on CNBC, Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino and general counsel Stu Hoegner were asked some pressing questions on the subject of USDT’s backing and transparency.

Hoegner responded to the question by saying:

“We are working towards getting financial audits, which no one else in the stablecoin sector has done yet.”

Hoegner added that the firm hopes to be the first to do so and that audits will be coming in “months, not years”. He stated that Tether is backed one-to-one with its reserves but admitted that those reserves were not all US dollars. According to Hoegner, Tether’s reserves are heavily dollar-weighted but also include cash equivalents, bonds, secured loans, crypto assets, and other investments.

The current market capitalization of USDT is 62 billion according to Tether’s transparency report. It has grown by 195% since the beginning of the year but has lagged behind rivals USDC and BUSD in terms of growth.

Related: Coin Metrics co-founder takes aim at WSJ’s Tether FUD

Circle released its own reserves disclosure report on July 21, revealing that 61% of USDC’s reserves were held in cash and cash equivalents with the rest in commercial paper accounts, treasuries, and bonds.

Paxos takes a swipe

In a related development, rival stablecoin company Paxos took a swipe at both Tether and Circle in a July 21 blog post claiming that they are “not comprehensively overseen by any financial regulators.”

“Neither USDC nor Tether is a regulated digital asset, for the simple reason that neither token has a regulator. In fact, neither USDC nor Tether tokens are ‘stablecoins’ in anything other than name.”

Paxos revealed that 96% of its own stablecoin reserves are cash or cash equivalents.

Tether revealed a breakdown of its USDT backing for the first time in May, following increased scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers. The firm has been submitting periodic reports regarding its reserves since reaching a settlement with the New York Attorney General’s Office in February.



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Regulation

‘Nakamoto’s innovation is real,’ says SEC Chair Gary Gensler

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Gary Gensler, the Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, believes that the blockchain revolution started by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 is more than just a fad, but a real value proposition for the future of the internet. 

In an interview with the Aspen Security Forum on Tuesday, Gesler talked about his role at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology teaching about the intersection of finance and technology:

“[…] in that work I came to believe that though there was a lot of hype masquerading as reality in the crypto field, Nakamoto’s innovation is real.”

Gensler noted that, while some within the public sector wish that cryptocurrency would just go away, the technology likely has a big role to play in the future of finance.

“I really do think there’s something real about the distributed ledger technology, moving value on the internet,” he said.

Related: Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Satoshi Nakamoto’s final message

Some within the crypto community took Gensler’s comments to mean that he’s studied the entire field of blockchain and concluded that Bitcoin is the only real innovation. A transcript of Gensler’s address to the Aspen Security Forum appeared to be hyper-focused on the Bitcoin (BTC) whitepaper published by Satoshi Nakamoto more than a decade ago.

“At its core, Nakamoto was trying to create a private form of money with no central intermediary, such as a central bank or commercial banks,” Gensler said in his remarks. Although he acknowledged that no single cryptocurrency broadly fulfills all the functions of public monies like the dollar, he said assets like Bitcoin provide a different value proposition:

“Primarily, crypto assets provide digital, scarce vehicles for speculative investment. Thus, in that sense, one can say they are highly speculative stores of value.”

After being confirmed by the Senate Banking Committee in April of this year, Gensler assumed the role as SEC Chair in June, replacing the outgoing Jay Clayton, whose term expired the same month. Gensler’s five-year term is scheduled to last through 2026. He believes in creating a “robust” regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the United States, especially in emerging DeFi markets such as lending.

Related: SEC Chair wants robust crypto regulatory regime for the US