UPDATE (10/15, 7:50 PM EST): Representatives from Tether have released a statement, attributed to chief compliance officer Leonardo Real. The statement comes hours after the USDT price fell below its peg to hit a low of $0.92 Monday morning and, later, temporarily rose back to $1 per token.
Real was quoted as saying:
The price of the tether stablecoin (USDT) has fallen to an 18-month low Monday, despite a general rise in the wider crypto markets.
The tether-US dollar exchange rate (USDT/USD) fell to $0.925284 at 07:00 UTC – the lowest level since April 27, 2017 – and was last seen trading at $0.967296, representing a 2 percent drop on a 24-hour basis, according to CoinMarketCap.
The slide in the USDT price has pushed up the premium carried by bitcoin (BTC) prices on the Bitfinex exchange above $600.
As of writing, bitcoin is trading at an average of $6,617 across global exchanges, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), having clocked a 5.5-week high of $6,960 earlier today.
However, on Bitfinex, BTC is changing hands at $7,055, meaning prices are trading at a premium of $438 to the BPI. The leading cryptocurrency rose as high as $7,788 on Bitfinex, which operates Tether LLC, the firm that developed the USDT token.
Some reports are putting the price drop down to traders losing faith in the token, amid claimed lack of transparency over tether's true USD holdings and rumored issues at partner firm Bitfinex.
Interestingly, other recently introduced stablecoins like Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and TrueUSD (TUSD) are up 1.85 percent and 4.96 percent, respectively.
Whatever the reason for the drop, it seems safe to say that traders have likely rotated money out of USDT and into bitcoin and other stablecoins.
Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.
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