Tether’s USDT stablecoin has reached a significant milestone, with its market capitalization briefly surpassing US$100 billion on March 4.

The stablecoin, pegged to the US dollar, is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, trailing only Bitcoin and Ether.

Tether’s USDT is available on 14 different blockchains and protocols, with over US$50 billion circulated on the Tron network, favored for its lower transaction fees.

Tether has become one of the world’s top purchasers of U.S. government debt and recently reported a quarterly profit of US $2.85 billion in Q4 2023.

Tether’s market cap growth follows the minting of a billion USDT by the Tether Treasury on March 3, as reported by Whale Alert, an X (formerly Twitter) account that tracks large cryptocurrency movements.

Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino said that the newly minted USDT is intended to replenish inventory on the Ethereum network for future issuance requests and chain swaps, not for immediate market impact.

The stablecoin has seen a notable uptick in demand from developing nations, such as Nigeria, where it is used as a safeguard against national currency volatility.

Despite its success, Tether has faced controversy over the quality of assets backing USDT and the alleged preference of the stablecoin in cyber fraud and money laundering activities, as highlighted in a United Nations report. Tether has refuted these claims, emphasizing its collaboration with global law enforcement and the traceability of its token.

The company also argues that it has taken steps to reduce exposure to higher-risk assets and pledged to eliminate US$4.8 billion in loans from its reserves by the end of 2024.