The Tether Rich List, a useful indicator of the behavior of USDT tokens in the crypto ecosystem, showed outdated information as of 5:00 UTC on Tuesday. In the background, the pattern of removing USDT from circulation through Bitfinex has continued.
An exploration of the wallets involved showed that within a couple of days, around 65 million USDT accumulated on Bitfinex, up from some 9 million this past weekend. The Rich List still displayed a balance of 65,816,963 USDT. However, the wallet of the exchange tells another story, showing only around 25 million USDT.
The treasury now contains more than 966 million USDT, taking the available Tether supply down to around 2 billion tokens. The treasury mopped up another 50 million USDT on October 23, and those are still not reflected in the rich list. The operation continues the pattern of slowly draining the crypto market from the most influential stablecoin.
At the same time, trading volumes are falling, and USDT pairs only see the equivalent of $1.9 billion traded - less than the supply.
Bitfinex was also under fire for a mysterious USD/USDT pair featured in market statistics. The exchange explained the data point as part of its API, tracking USDT movements. However, on CoinMarketCap, the data was displayed as a trading pair, with a $1 price for USDT.
Unfortunately, the USDT has not seen $1 prices in more than a week now, hovering around $0.97 on Kraken. The price of $1 for Bitfinex and Tether is nominal, based on the notion that all USDT are backed by dollars and worth exactly $1.However, doubts have been piling up in relation with this fact.
Meanwhile, attempting to use the Tether.to wallet and ecosystem comes with severe limitations. The website-based wallet is in withdrawal-mode only, which means funds cannot be sent from outside wallets for redemption in USD. In the early days, a fully verified Tether account could claim payment in USD, usually after a rather long wait and a cut in the price. Now, there is no possibility to withdraw anything directly even when owning a Tether account.
The site also shows other glitches, such as quickly logging out and hiding the login button. This is yet another warning that the option to always switch between USDT and USD is practically closed.