“I pride myself on being a good friend, and all my friends can attest to that.” – Kyle Richards
I hate myself for going down the crypto stablecoin rabbit hole. I really do. I don’t trade crypto or any of the big names closely tied to that market. I have no skin in the game. It’s merely a minor (and recent) fascination of mine. But alas, here I am, punching out another quick note on the topic. I was all set to spend this morning working on a silver squeeze story, but then Grant Thornton LLP published their March attestation of the USDC reserves overnight. Sorry WSB apes, no silver pontifications until tomorrow.
In a letter dated May 24, 2021, Grant Thornton LLP assures the world all is well with USDC. Scratch that, all was well with USDC as of midnight on March 31, 2021. This report came 54 days after the end of March. We can now update our chart:
Naturally, there’s just enough odd with the March attestation to warrant a raised eyebrow or two. I wonder if they are just messing with the skeptics at this point? I’ll list the oddities here, with minimal comment, and let the reader decide what to make of it all.
First, timing. Just like with the February attestation, the March letter arrives on or about the same time as massive new minting of USDC. I took the screenshot below from coinmarketcap.com. The new pattern seems to be a lengthy delay, a huge minting, and voila, a fresh new attestation report.
Second, the letter is addressed to “Circle Internet Financial, LLC.” All previous attestation letters had been addressed to “Circle Internet Financial, Inc.” Is this a distinction without a difference? I have no idea. Maybe an internet sleuth out there can do some digging.
Third, Grant Thornton is no longer attesting to a specific amount of dollar reserves. Instead, they attestation reads: “US Dollars held in custody accounts are at least equal or greater than the USDC tokens outstanding at the Report Date and Time.” Odd. Seems simple enough to provide a specific number, no? They did so in every other report.
The specific dollar amount is also missing from the company’s reserves account report attached to the Grant Thornton LLP letter. Note the change in company name (Inc. to LLC) appears here as well, along with the “at least equal to or greater than” language.
I saw on Twitter this morning that the total amount of minted US dollar stablecoins has just surpassed $100 billion. The party rages on. Who can blame them? If people suddenly started accepting Monopoly money as real, I suspect there’d be a run on Monopoly games at your local Walmart. I bought one last night, just in case, for $21.01 (tax included), I’m now the proud owner of 20,580 Monopoly bucks. Fingers crossed.
I agree with sbhk, coinmarketcap has been inaccurate for a while. Personally I've been using coingecko.
Of note, the Tether questions have been going on for a long time. In 2017 asked a buddy of mine who used to work for one of the major crypto hedge funds out there and for whatever reason he didn't think it was that big of an issue.
No comment on the delay in new attestations, but relying on coinmarketcap is not wise. Look at the data on coingecko and you will see not huge one time prints. Yes market cap has increased, but not in these huge one time prints of new USDC: https://twitter.com/lowstrife/status/1396784029886734340?s=20