The Success of Tether

Cas Piancey
2 min readApr 14, 2021

There’s a helluva lot of news dropping today:

  • Coinbase is going forward with its direct listing (with open price estimated to be anywhere from $300–$400)
  • Gary Gensler is being confirmed to head the SEC
  • and Bernie “The Ponz” Madoff died

Which is why it probably seems trivial to be discussing Tether, a stablecoin completely unrelated to any of that. But Tether is quietly manifesting its destiny and reaching what once seemed like impossible goals.

Looking at the Transparency Page — which Bennett Tomlin points out is still not correct in its numbers — shows us that Tether is quickly approaching a $50 billion marketcap.

That would place it in the top 200 of the NYSE.

It’s hard to believe Tether has a higher marketcap than Public Storage, Ebay, or DocuSign. We could combine the marketcaps of Penn National Gaming, Ally Bank, and GameStop — and Tether would still come out on top.

But it borders on totally insane when you realize Tether is an unaudited financial entity that has admitted its 1–1 dollar-backed stablecoin isn’t 1–1 backed at all.

If you want to hear my skepticism proclaimed in more detail, there’s a lot of stories and summaries to look into, but today I want to address the reality of the situation: I never expected Tether to hit a $50 billion marketcap.

It helps, I suppose, that Tether can nowadays get away with printing 2 billion at a time and no one bats an eyelash:

So I think it’s only fair to state a couple things. Congratulations to Tether, I guess. They’re on track to hit a $100 billion marketcap this year.

Meanwhile, another unfortunate milestone has been reached in the Tether ecosystem: TRON has overtaken Ethereum as the blockchain with the most widely distributed number of Tethers issued. Another “congratulations,” this time to Justin Sun, on this “achievement.”

To say I’m disappointed with many people — the sheer amount of glossy-eyed naivety and lack of questioning how things work — is to put it mildly. I had a lot of dumb faith for no good reason, and if anyone’s learned a lesson, more so than the people reading my articles or trading, it’s probably me.

Stay skeptical, friends.