The team behind cryptocurrency’s prevalent stablecoin, Tether, have been rolling their printers again, minting $20 million worth of the controversial trading coin. 

The transaction was noted by the Whale Alert Twitter account in the following tweet:  

10 million on the new crypto then almost immediately made its way out into the wild via one massive move…

The issuance came as the price of bitcoin began to dip back towards the $10,000 mark again, a level that it has been skirting for the past day or so. Indeed, the movements of the Tether treasury are closely watched by cryptocurrency traders and enthusiasts, with CryptoCompare's July Exchange Review noting that 67% of all BTC trading across its analyzed markets is in pairing with USDT, meaning extra liquidity heading into the market from its treasury could be seen as an indicator of impending price action. 

Also keeping the crypto on the radar of market watchers its chequered history, and its somewhat opaque accounting and management structure. Whether Tether is consistently backed by the cash deposits that are meant to underpin its relationship to the US dollar – currently its circulating supply is some $4 billion-plus – has long been a subject of fierce conjecture and debate, which the company’s own statements have done little to abate.

Similarly, its past management connections to the under-fire crypto exchange BitFinex have consistently invoked ire, and led to a fairly large premium on the price of buying bitcoin with USDT at numerous points in last year or so

Also consistently scrutinized is the stablecoin’s relationship to the market prices of cryptocurrency in general, with accusations in many quarters that it serves to facilitate market-altering price pumps, especially in the high-volume BTC markets that serve as a bellwether across the wider altcoin market.

This issuance of $20 million worth of USDT is in fact fairly small beer by Tether’s standards, however, indeed in July a mistake saw it issue $5 billion USDT in a single day when it botched an attempt to mint 'just' USDT$50m.   

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