Is Tether a Threat to the Crypto Market? JP Morgan Thinks So

Azeez Mustapha


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The stablecoin market has grown rapidly in the past year, reaching a total capitalization of over $120 billion. However, not all stablecoins are created equal, and some may face more regulatory challenges than others. This is the case for Tether, the largest and most controversial stablecoin issuer, which accounts for more than 70% of the market share.

However, according to a recent report by JPMorgan, Tether is “mostly at risk” due to its lack of compliance and transparency. The report states that Tether’s increasing concentration is a negative factor for the stablecoin sector and the crypto ecosystem as a whole, as it exposes them to potential legal actions and reputational damage.

Key regulatory developments in the U.S. and Europe further compound Tether’s challenges. In the U.S., the pending Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act may soon require stablecoin issuers, including Tether, to secure a banking charter and adhere to banking regulations.

Meanwhile, Europe is gearing up for the partial implementation of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation in June, imposing stringent requirements on stablecoin issuers encompassing reserves, governance, and risk management.

JPMorgan analysts argue that these impending regulations could favor more transparent and compliant stablecoin issuers, pointing to USDC as an example. USDC, the second-largest stablecoin, is issued by Circle, a company currently preparing for a public listing in the U.S., demonstrating its commitment to regulatory compliance. USDC’s reserves, backed by audited U.S. dollars, set it apart from Tether.

Tether, known for its controversies regarding reserves and audits, disputes JPMorgan’s claims.

Tether CEO Ardoino Calls Out JP Morgan for Hypocrisy

Tether’s CEO, Paolo Ardoino, defended his company and criticized JPMorgan’s report. He told The Block that he was happy that JPMorgan acknowledged the importance of Tether and the stablecoin technology, but he accused the bank of being hypocritical for talking about concentration.

He also said that Tether’s success was driven by its financial reliability, strong reserves, and commitment to emerging markets and developing countries, where USDT is used as a lifeline against inflation and currency devaluation.

Despite criticism, Tether announced record-breaking net profits of $2.9 billion in Q4 2023, increasing excess reserves by $1.6 billion.

While Tether remains optimistic, JPMorgan analysts caution that its dominance in the stablecoin market could pose significant risks. Any regulatory action or disruption within Tether could adversely impact the broader crypto ecosystem’s liquidity and stability.

As the regulatory landscape evolves, Tether’s position remains a focal point for market participants and regulators alike.


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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