Alameda Research and Cumberland Global are USDT’s biggest fish with 55% of supply, report reveals

Alameda Research and Cumberland Global are USDT's biggest fish with 55% of supply, report reveals By Hannah perez

A Protos report tracked and identified the entities that handle 70% of USDT’s circulating supply. Justin Sun is the person with the most funds in the stablecoin.


More than half of all tokens Tether (USDT) minted over the past seven years have fallen into the hands of two cryptocurrency companies: Alameda Research and Cumberland Global. This is pointed out by a recent investigation by Protos which analyzed the USDT sent and received between the eight networks that support the stablecoin from 2014 to October 31, 2021.

In accordance with Protos, the market makers sent the most USDT; specifically, a total of USD $ 96.9 billion, or 89.2%, of the USD $ 108 billion of Tether analyzed. The research firm rated the “market makers”As entities that have received multiple individual transactions from Tether Treasuries (Treasury) of USD $ 100 million USDT or more.

Alameda Research and Cumberland Global are USDT's biggest fish with 55% of supply, report reveals
USDT distribution – source: Protos

The term market maker traditionally refers to entities capable of benefit from the asset spread (the price difference between the buy and sell orders). For example, these make profit by providing cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, Huobi and FTX liquidity for your various USDT trading pairs.

Protos He noted that the purpose of his investigation was to identify who were the entities that have acquired 70% of the total supply of USDT. To do this, he analyzes the USDT flowing from Tether Treasuries and the directions of blockchain linked to specific entities. These figures do not correlate one-to-one with Tether’s current circulating supply of over 70 billion coins.

Tether’s big shots: Alameda and Cumberland

Of the entities that make up the group of market makers, the investigation identified the companies Alameda Research and Cumberland Global as the most goth fish behind the popular stablecoin. According to the investigation, both firms received at least $ 60.3 billion in USDT during the analyzed period, that is, about 55% of all the outgoing volume of tokens.

Alameda Research, the parent company of cryptocurrency exchange FTX led by young businessman and billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, received USD $ 36.7 billion in USDT, of which the 81% entered last year. According to the report, Mall it also accounted for 37% of all outgoing volume.

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For its part, Cumberland, market powerhouse DRW’s cryptocurrency trading subsidiary, received USD $ 23.7 billion in USDT of which 74% was received last year. “Tether issued Cumberland USD $ 18.7 billion in USDT (79%) directly to Binance, and a much smaller amount to other exchanges“, Including Bitfinex, Poloniex and Huobi; the investigation noted.

Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research and Cumberland Global are two prolific Tether buyers who are confident that USDT is priced correctly. Together, they have acquired at least [USD]$ 60 billion in USDT in the last two years. They inject liquidity into the main exchanges in the ecosystem based on their trust in Tether, which in turn provides the markets with the confidence that 1 USDT equals 1 dollar.

Alameda Research and Cumberland Global are USDT's biggest fish with 55% of supply, report reveals
Tether received – source: Protos

The report also identified other bulky fish within the USDT market. Among them, iFinex, the parent company of Bitfinex and Tether, which handled at least USD $ 4.5 billion in USDT during the analyzed period. Too Nexus, a decentralized finance platform (DeFi), and Heka, a firm led by Maltese academics and named in the Paradise papers, they received just over 3% of all outgoing USDT volume for that span.

Key pieces within the Tether ecosystem

Beyond the huge percentage of USDT handled by firms identified as market makers, research from Protos found that lCommercial funds and other diverse companies received USD $ 9.2 billion (8.5%). Meanwhile, heThe smallest transactions considered received by “individuals”Amounted to USD $ 2.35 billion, or 2.3%.

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Among the first group – Tether’s midsize clients – the research identified Three Arrows Capital and Delchain as entities that have received significant amounts of the stablecoin.

Protos classified entities within the group of ‘funds and companies’ as those that often receive USDT transactions in batches of between USD $ 10 million and USD $ 100 million at a time. Many of the entities in this category are hedge funds and business units, which make a profit by investing and trading cryptocurrencies.

The company Delchain, owned and operated by Tether’s primary banking partner, Deltec Bank and Trust, was shown as a fundamental piece of the ecosystem. Signature received a significant amount of USDT worth at least USD $ 908 million, or around 10% of the entire USDT of the group. For its part, Three Arrows received at least USD $ 674 million in USDT, which represents 7.3% of all USDT in the group of “funds and companies“.

Protos also rated Shilong Wang as Tether’s quirkiest customer. According to the report, the entity appears to handle funds in USDT for a handful of companies located in tax havens, including Paretone Capital, Aoide Capital, Max Victory Wealth Management and ZB Trade. The report identified the entities connected to Shilong as the “Shilong Web” highlighting they were responsible for 6.5% of the group of ‘funds and companies’. In addition, for the second half of 2019, the Shilong Web group of companies it accounted for more than 5% of all USDT issued.

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Justin Sun is the individual with the most USDT

Lastly, the investigation also identified some of the smaller individuals or entities that have received at least $ 10 million USDT at a time. The report mentioned two figures: Christopher Harborne, identified by the international news media as a Brexit financier; and Justin Sun, well-known cryptocurrency trader and founder of TRON.

Harborne, whose network of shell companies was made public in the Panama Papers, was a shareholder of DigFinex (iFinex, Bitfinex and the parent company of Tether) under his alternative Thai identity Chakrit Sakunkrit between 2017 and 2018, during which time he donated almost $ 20 million to the political party Reform UK, which sought the separation of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

According to the research, Harborne received more than $ 70 million in USDT under his Thai name in early 2019. It should be noted that he is also the father of Will Harborne, CEO of the decentralized exchange DiversiFi, which started Ethfinex, a sister company of Bitfinex. DiversiFi separated from Bitfinex in 2019.

Although of all individual investors, the controversial project leader Blockchain TRON, Justin Sun is the person who has received the most funds in USDT. “In total, you have purchased at least [USD]$ 200 million in USDT. Most of the funds we have linked to Sun were sent during 2019 and 2020“Says the investigation.

Alameda Research and Cumberland Global are USDT's biggest fish with 55% of supply, report reveals
USDT distribution between the groups “funds and companies” and “individuals” – source: Protos

Finally, Protos revealed that more than 80% of the identified supply of USDT has eventually been returned to the Tether Treasury, funds that came primarily from cryptocurrency exchanges.

Recommended reading

Sources: Protos

Article by Hannah Estefanía Pérez / DailyBitcoin

Unsplash image edited in Canva

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