Paolo Ardoino: Tether Ranks 22nd in US Treasury Holdings, Surpassing Mexico, Australia, and Spain

Tether, USDT issuer, the leading stablecoin in global circulation, now holds $72.5 billion in U.S. Treasury bills, positioning it as the world’s 22nd largest holder. This development coincides with China’s accelerated divestment from U.S. debt, which has seen a reduction of nearly $481 billion from its peak levels. The contrasting strategies highlight the evolving dynamics of global finance and raise questions about the stability of emerging markets.

Tether’s Growing Exposure to U.S. Treasuries

Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether and Bitfinex, announced on September 5, 2023, that Tether’s holdings in U.S. Treasury bills have reached $72.5 billion. (Read Exclusive Article contributed by Tether CTO to Blockchain.News)

This places the stablecoin issuer above sovereign nations like the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Australia, and Spain in terms of U.S. Treasury holdings.

For many of these communities, USDt is a lifeline to protect themselves and their families from the insane inflation of their national currencies,

Ardoino tweeted.

China’s Accelerating Exit from U.S. Debt

In contrast, China’s ownership of U.S. Treasury debt has seen a significant reduction. According to Wall Street Silver, China’s holdings are down almost $481 billion from peak levels, and the rate of selling is accelerating. “You can see how the line is steepening. China is getting out of U.S. debt and buying Gold instead,” the financial commentary platform noted.

Emerging Markets and Financial Stability

The diverging strategies of Tether and China have elicited mixed reactions. Suraj Chawla of GPU.NET questioned the long-term stability of relying on Tether’s U.S. Treasury holdings as a “financial lifeline” for emerging markets.

Propping up economies on shaky grounds creates a facade of stability, not true resilience,

Chawla stated.

BeastOnChain, a crypto analytics platform, offered a different perspective.

This actually highlights the expansion of emerging markets into the Real World Assets (RWA) and the need for a diversified, borderless approach to help people worldwide engage in these emerging markets,

the platform tweeted.

Implications for Global Finance

The expanding U.S. Treasury portfolio of Tether and China’s accelerated shedding of U.S. debt both highlight evolving trends in international finance. Tether’s role as a financial “lifeline” for emerging markets comes with increased scrutiny regarding the long-term stability of these economies, given its substantial investment in U.S. Treasuries. Conversely, China’s pivot from U.S. debt to gold indicates a strategic realignment of its financial holdings, a move that could have implications for the global economic power structure.


As Tether climbs the ranks of global U.S. Treasury holders, its role in emerging markets becomes increasingly significant. However, questions about the stability of these markets persist. Meanwhile, China’s accelerated exit from U.S. debt could have far-reaching implications for global finance. 

Image source: Shutterstock


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Australia Surpasses Asia in Crypto ATM Installations

Australia has become a leading country in the adoption of cryptocurrencies, with a growing number of businesses and individuals recognizing the benefits of using digital assets for daily transactions. According to Coin ATM Radar, Australia has surpassed Asia in the total number of crypto ATMs installed, with 364 machines as of January 2023. This represents a significant increase since the beginning of the year, with the country climbing from fifth to third place in January alone.

Over the last eight months, Australia has consistently added Bitcoin ATMs, unlike leading European nations and the United States, which reported a reduction in ATM installations during the same period. This suggests that Australia is on a crypto ATM installation spree, reflecting the growing demand for fiat-to-crypto conversions in the country.

In contrast, Asia, which includes major economies such as China, Japan, Singapore, and India, hosts only 355 crypto machines, representing only 1% of the total crypto ATMs installed worldwide. Despite the vast population and economic power of these countries, Australia has managed to outpace them in the installation of crypto ATMs.

The increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies in Australia is not limited to the installation of crypto ATMs. Leaked internal documents from Australia’s Department of the Treasury reveal that the country is also considering the introduction of crypto legislation. This would provide a regulatory framework for the crypto industry, helping to legitimize and foster its growth.

Although the final submissions to the cabinet will reportedly come later in the year, it is clear that crypto legislation is on the horizon in Australia. This would bring the country in line with other leading crypto-friendly nations, such as Switzerland and Malta, which have established themselves as global hubs for crypto innovation and adoption.

In conclusion, Australia’s growing number of crypto ATM installations and its consideration of crypto legislation demonstrate the country’s commitment to fostering the growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies. As the crypto industry continues to evolve and gain mainstream acceptance, Australia’s proactive approach positions it as a leader in the global crypto landscape.


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Binance Australia Derivatives License Canceled by ASIC

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has canceled the license of Binance Australia Derivatives following a targeted review of Binance’s operations in the country. Oztures Trading Pty Ltd, trading as Binance Australia Derivatives, held the Australian financial services license that has now been canceled.

The cancellation of the license means that clients of Binance Australia Derivatives will not be able to open new positions or increase derivatives positions on the platform from April 14. Furthermore, Binance is expected to close any remaining open positions on April 21, so clients are required to close any existing derivatives positions before that date.

ASIC’s statement on the cancellation of the license also clarified that the cancellation does not affect Binance’s obligation to continue as a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority until April 8, 2024.

Binance is a major cryptocurrency exchange platform that provides a wide range of services, including cryptocurrency trading, derivatives trading, and lending. The exchange has faced regulatory scrutiny from several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, for operating without proper licenses and complying with regulations.

The cancellation of Binance Australia Derivatives’ license by ASIC comes amid increased regulatory scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges and their compliance with financial regulations. In recent months, several countries have tightened their regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges, including China, India, and Turkey, among others.

Moreover, Binance is not the only cryptocurrency exchange platform to face regulatory action in Australia. In 2020, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) initiated legal proceedings against the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, BTC Markets, for alleged breaches of anti-money laundering laws.

In conclusion, the cancellation of Binance Australia Derivatives’ license by ASIC is a significant development in the regulatory landscape of cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia. It highlights the importance of compliance with financial regulations and the need for cryptocurrency exchanges to operate within the legal framework of the countries they operate in. As the cryptocurrency market continues to grow, it is likely that more regulatory actions will be taken against cryptocurrency exchanges that do not comply with financial regulations.


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Seychelles Crypto Exchange OKX to Expand Services to Australia

In a statement released on March 29, OKX announced its intention to expand its crypto services to Australia, citing the country’s strong adoption of cryptocurrency. The exchange, which provides services to over 100 countries, has already expanded its operations into Malta in August 2018 and secured a provisional license in Dubai in July 2020.

OKX sees Australia as an indispensable part of its growth strategy and a key growth market, stating that it aims to build a strong local office. The exchange’s move into the Australian market is fueled by the high demand for cryptocurrency among Australian retail investors.

According to Jay Hao, CEO of OKX, Australian retail investors have shown a massive appetite for exploring crypto as an investment vehicle and for trading. He noted that since he came to OKX, the web traffic from Australia and the number of people trying to explore OKX services from Australia has been significant.

The exchange’s Head of Global Operations, Grant Rafique, believes that Australians are ahead of the curve in terms of crypto education, which he hopes will make OKX’s move into the market even smoother.

Australia’s cryptocurrency industry has been growing steadily, with an increasing number of Australians investing in digital assets. A report by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance revealed that Australia’s cryptocurrency sector grew by 20% in 2020, with the number of active crypto users doubling in the last 12 months.

The expansion into the Australian market is part of OKX’s broader strategy to become a global leader in the crypto industry. By expanding its services to more countries, the exchange hopes to provide more people with access to digital assets and facilitate the adoption of cryptocurrency worldwide.

Overall, OKX’s move to expand its services to Australia is a significant development in the country’s crypto industry, as it is likely to bring more competition and further increase the adoption of digital assets among Australians.


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Australian Senator Proposes Digital Asset Regulation Bill

Australia has been known for its progressive stance on cryptocurrency regulation. Recently, Senator Andrew Bragg submitted a private senators’ bill titled Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023 to the Australian Parliament. The bill proposes regulatory recommendations for stablecoins, licensing of exchanges, and custody requirements to protect consumers and promote investment in the country’s cryptocurrency market.

The proposed regulatory changes aim to provide a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchanges, custody services, and stablecoin issuers in Australia. The bill is intended to protect consumers and promote investment while providing guidelines for reporting information by authorized deposit-taking institutions for the issuance and control of a central bank digital currency.

Senator Bragg provided further information for the submission of the private bill, criticizing the current Labor government for not following through on 12 recommendations relating to cryptocurrency regulation introduced by the Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre in October 2021. Bragg highlighted that the Australian consumers had been left exposed to industry-wide events like the collapse of FTX by the inaction of the Australian government to provide regulatory clarity to the sector.

The proposed act also sets out various obligations and requirements for exchanges, custody services, and stablecoin issuers. These range from capital or minimum reserve requirements, segregation of customer funds, reporting on customer holdings, auditing, assurance, and disclosure arrangements.

The bill would require a person or business to hold a license granted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission or a foreign license to operate a cryptocurrency exchange. This would also apply to cryptocurrency custody services and stablecoin issuers in Australia.

In contrast to the typical introduction of regulatory changes by Australian ministers, members of parliament can introduce private members’ or private senators’ bills, which can take months or years to pass through parliament. As a result, it may take some time before the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023 is passed into law.

Public consultation is currently ongoing in Australia over the classification of cryptocurrencies and various digital asset tokens, services, and platforms. The “token mapping” consultation paper was released in February, outlining basic definitions for the cryptocurrency sector.

The proposed bill by Senator Bragg is a significant step towards regulating the cryptocurrency sector in Australia, ensuring the protection of consumers and promoting investment in the country’s growing digital assets market. If passed, the bill would provide a clear regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchanges, custody services, and stablecoin issuers to operate in Australia.


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Australian Banks Ordered to Report Crypto Transactions

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has reportedly ordered local banks to report on their exposure to cryptocurrency transactions in the wake of recent banking collapses, including the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Silvergate failures. The regulator is seeking to obtain more information and insight into banking exposures to crypto assets and associated risks.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the APRA has instructed banks to improve their reporting on crypto assets and provide daily updates to the regulator. The agency has started requesting banks to declare their exposures to startups and crypto-related companies, citing three people familiar with the matter. The new measures are reportedly part of the APRA’s increased supervision of the banking sector, aimed at mitigating the risk of similar collapses occurring in Australia’s banking system.

The move comes in the aftermath of the collapse of global banks, including Credit Suisse and SVB, which have raised concerns over the stability of the financial system. On March 19, UBS Group agreed to buy Credit Suisse for $3.2 billion after the latter collapsed over the weekend. The banking sector has been facing pressure from investors and regulators to improve risk management and transparency.

Barrenjoey analyst Jonathan Mott reportedly warned that while the situation “remains stable” for Australian banks, confidence could be quickly disrupted, putting pressure on bank margins. The APRA’s increased scrutiny of cryptocurrency transactions is aimed at mitigating this risk, as the regulator seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the potential impact of crypto assets on the stability of the banking system.

The Australian government has been taking a cautious approach to regulating the cryptocurrency industry, with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) recently stating that it has no plans to issue a digital version of the Australian dollar. However, the APRA’s move to increase reporting requirements on crypto assets suggests that regulators are taking a more active role in monitoring the sector.

In conclusion, the APRA’s decision to order local banks to report on cryptocurrency transactions reflects the growing concern over the potential risks posed by crypto assets to the stability of the banking system. While the situation in Australia remains stable, the recent collapses of global banks have highlighted the need for improved risk management and transparency in the financial sector. The APRA’s increased scrutiny of the crypto industry is a step towards achieving this goal, as regulators seek to gain a deeper understanding of the potential impact of crypto assets on the stability of the financial system.


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Binance Australia Derivatives Closes Accounts After False Classification

On February 23, the company Binance Australia Derivatives sent an unexpected notice to a subset of its customers, informing them that the company would be immediately canceling their accounts because of an error in which certain users were incorrectly categorized as “wholesale clients.” The error occurred as a result of the company incorrectly classifying certain users as “wholesale clients.” This issue transpired as a result of some users being wrongly classified as “wholesale customers.” The problem occurred because the company was mistakingly referring to certain users as “wholesale clients,” which was caused by a misunderstanding.

This incident caused a flurry of responses from users on social media, and the next day, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced that it would be conducting a “targeted review” of Binance’s local derivatives operations in response to the public outcry that it had generated. This review was in direct response to the public outcry that this incident had generated. This evaluation was an immediate reaction to the backlash that had been caused by this episode in the public’s eye. This assessment was an instant response to the backlash that had been produced by this incident in the eyes of the public.

The “categorization of retail customers and wholesale clients” of Binance Australia Derivatives will be one of the topics that will be examined as part of the assessment that will take place on the 24th of February, according to a statement that was released by a representative for the regulator. This will be one of the topics that will be examined as part of the evaluation that will take place. On February 24th, as part of the evaluation that will take place on that day, this will be one of the subjects that will be reviewed and discussed in depth. The evaluation will be carried out on February 15, which is the day after Valentine’s Day in the Gregorian calendar.


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Scammers Target Australians in Cryptocurrency Call Center Scheme

It has come to light that people of Australia are the principal targets of a sophisticated multinational network of con artists that operate out of call centers focused on bitcoin. The network is believed to have originated in China. The heart of operations for the network may be found on the continent of Australia. It is commonly believed that the administration of this network is being handled by criminal syndicates that have their headquarters in Israel.

As part of a large-scale operation, law enforcement officers from the countries of Serbia, Germany, Bulgaria, and Cyprus carried out house searches in a total of eleven locations across the country of Serbia, including four call centers. These locations included the country’s capital city of Belgrade. Officials from the island nation of Cyprus were responsible for the operation’s coordination. During the course of this operation, they discovered evidence showing that Australians were among the citizens of all of the other countries who were exposed to the highest degree of examination. This information suggests that Australians were among those subjected to this level of inspection. The material was made available to the general public on February 23 via the dissemination of an article that had been authored by The Australian and published on that day.

Fifteen individuals and about 1.46 million dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies were seized into custody as a direct result of the operations, which were carried out as a direct consequence of the acts.

It would seem that con artists who work out of these contact centers are using advertisements on social media in an effort to persuade fresh victims into falling for their schemes. They achieve this goal by ensuring prospective investors that any investments they make would result in a significant return on the cash that they have invested. The findings of the research reveal that individuals do engage in this activity, which testifies to the notion that it is prevalent since it indicates that people do participate.


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Binance Australia Derivatives starts closing certain positions and accounts

Users of the Binance Australia Derivatives product have reported receiving unexpected notices on February 23 from the digital asset platform, which said that the company has begun closing some derivatives contracts and accounts.

Individuals who did not match the qualifications to be a “wholesale investor” were informed that all of their positions would be closed, and they would no longer be allowed to use the Binance Australia Derivatives Platform, according to screenshots that were uploaded on Twitter by a variety of users.

Users have been advised that in order to continue utilizing Binance Australia’s derivatives platform, they are need to provide the requisite proof to demonstrate that they satisfy the criteria for the role of “wholesale investor.”

The letter went on to explain that Binance Australia Derivatives is working on a remediation and compensation plan for customers to whom the company owes any refunds as a result of the change.


It was then said that the steps that followed were in accordance with the local legislation in Australia, and as a result, the users were informed quickly, and the accounts that were impacted were closed.

The company officially goes by the name Oztures Trade Pty Ltd, however its trading name is Binance Australia Derivatives. The local Australia office of Binance is a corporate approved agent for Oztures. This is the connection between the two companies.

It is made abundantly clear that derivatives items are only made available for wholesale customers located in Australia in the official overview that was issued in July of 2022.

Despite this, customers commented to Binance’s article on Twitter, with one user from Australia stating that they were unable to stake their cryptocurrency owing to complications in their location. Another user said that flexible earn was no longer accessible in Australia, which prompted the Binance support staff to react by saying that they will investigate the situation.

As part of its “multi-stage” strategy to combat frauds, Australia strengthened its watchdogs for the cryptocurrency field earlier in the month of February.


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Australia Opens Public Consultation on National Taxonomy of Crypto Assets

In response to the ongoing regulatory arms race taking place throughout the world, Australia has initiated a public consultation over the classification of its own cryptocurrency assets. The national authorities want to differentiate between four primary categories of items that are connected to the cryptocurrency business.

The Australian Treasury issued a consultation document on “token mapping” on February 3, claiming that it would serve as a fundamental step in the government’s multistage reform strategy to regulate the market. This announcement was made. It is intended to contribute to “a fact-based, consumer mindful, and innovation-friendly” approach to the formulation of public policy.

In this study, some fundamental definitions for cryptographic concepts are proposed using a methodology that is both “functional” and technology-neutral.

At the most fundamental level, it provides an explanation of the fundamental ideas behind cryptographic networks, cryptographic tokens, and smart contracts. A decentralised computer network that is capable of hosting crypto tokens is what the Treasury envisions when it talks about what a crypto network is. The storing of information and the processing of user commands are its two fundamental functions. According to the research study, Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two public crypto networks that have the largest name recognition.

A unit of digital information that may be “exclusively utilised or controlled” by a person who does not administrate the host hardware where the token is recorded is referred to as a crypto token. This is the definition of a crypto token. According to the research report, one of the most important characteristics that set crypto tokens apart from other types of digital records is the ability to exercise “exclusive use and control.”

A computer code that is submitted to the database of a crypto network is what constitutes a smart contract. It entails intermediaries or agents executing tasks under promises or other arrangements or processes being carried out by cryptographic networks without the need of intermediaries or agents, as well as without the use of promises.

Using these straightforward concepts as a foundation, the study presents its taxonomy of four distinct categories of crypto-related products:

Although the study does not present any legislative efforts and rather suggests to begin the conversation on this taxonomy, the authors of the article predict that a significant section of the crypto ecosystem will be able to comply with current regulations with only minor modifications. It is the parts of the ecosystem whose services are being assured by public, self-service software that may need the development of a whole new regulatory framework.

The Treasury Department will keep an open mind and listen for input until March 3. Midway through the year 2023, a similar report will be published on the potential licencing and custody framework for cryptocurrencies. This will be the next key stage in the ongoing process of a national regulatory debate.

The consultation document that His Majesty’s Treasury of the United Kingdom had prepared for the crypto regulation was also released on February 1. In it, the financial authority stressed the lack of requirement in the separate law, given that the current Financial Services and Markets Act is capable of covering digital assets. This is due to the fact that the Financial Services and Markets Act was amended in 2013.


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