After several months of research, a report from Protos managed to identify exactly who acquired 70% of all USDT ever issued. The report examined every USDT ever sent to and from Tether across eight blockchains and layers it currently exists on, finding that the company has distributed $ 108.5 billion in USDT since 2014.
The majority of funds went directly to market makers and liquidity providers – a staggering $ 96.98 billion went to just six companies.
Alameda Research is Tether’s biggest buyer
By analyzing the USDT exiting Tether Treasuries and the blockchain addresses linked to specific entities, Protos divided the distribution into three categories: market makers, funds and companies, and individuals. For research purposes, market makers have been defined as entities that have received multiple transactions from Tether Treasuries in excess of 100 million USDT.
Tether provided these market makers with 89.2%, or just over $ 97 billion, of all USDT sent. Goodwill companies received $ 9.2 billion, while individuals received only $ 2.35 billion.
Market makers Alameda Research and Cumberland Global have proven to be the biggest fish in Tether markets, receiving around 55% of its total outbound volume. Over $ 49 billion of their USDT has been acquired in the past year alone.
Tether sent $ 36.7 billion in USDT to Alameda Research, with $ 31.7 billion received last year. Of the $ 36.7 billion, over $ 30 billion was sent directly to FTX, while Alameda’s accounts on Binance, Huobi, and OKEx received $ 2.1 billion, $ 1.7 billion and $ 115 million.
Cumberland Global is the crypto-trading subsidiary of market giant DRW and counts VanEck among its clients. The company received $ 23.7 billion in USDT from Tether, with $ 17.6 billion received in the past year alone. As Cumberland is one of Binance’s primary liquidity providers, 79% of all USDT received was issued directly to Binance.
iFinex, the parent company of Bitfinex and Tether, received at least $ 4.5 billion in USDT, but most transfers took place before 2021. DeFi Nexo platform accounted for around 2% of all outgoing volume of Tether, receiving $ 2.6 billion in USDT, of which about $ 1.45 billion went to Binance.
Neutral market maker Heka bought $ 1.5 billion worth of USDT from Tether, of which $ 1.1 billion was distributed in 2021 and used on Binance. Chicago-linked trading giant Jump Trading received $ 1.1 billion in USDT on Solana this year.
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