A popular blockchain researcher and data specialist at the parent company of 21Shares has recently revealed an analysis that seems to suggest that the leading stablecoin issuer Tether could be the owner of the 11th largest Bitcoin address.

Tether’s Bitcoin balance has seen a substantial increase, with an additional $176 million added since the preceding quarter, bringing its presumed holdings to an estimated 55,022 BTC. In the previous quarter, Tether’s balance hovered around $1.5 billion, equating to approximately 53,490 BTC.

The researcher, Tom Wan, discovered a Bitcoin address identified by its initials – bc1qjas – whose holdings seem to align with Tether’s quarterly balances. The address’ Bitcoin balance has been steadily rising each quarter, and at the end of March it had amassed 53,490 BTC, while at the end of June it had 55,020 BTC.

Wan’s analysis assumes that Tether is amassing all of its BTC into a single address, which it very well may be doing if it keeps accumulating the funds in a cold storage address protected from hackers online.

Tether, it’s worth noting, revealed earlier this year plans to use 15% of its realized net operating profits to invest in the flagship cryptocurrency. The firm earns income from its large portfolio of U.S. Treasury bills, gold, and other investments.

Unlike traditional banks, which operate on a fractional reserve basis, Tether maintains its cryptocurrencies backed by mostly cash and short-term U.S. Treasury bills. At the time of writing, 1-month U.S. Treasurys are yielding around 5.38%.

The stablecoin issuer reported $850 million in second-quarter profits at the end of July, with Treasury bills making up roughly 64% of Tether’s assets.

As The Defiant reports, no blockchain-native project is generating as much profit as Tether. Ethereum, the largest smart contract protocol, is generating $780 million in fees per quarter, while Bitcoin generated $169 million. Leading decentralized exchange Uniswap generated $119 million, behind Lido Finance’s $162 million, according to Token Terminal.

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