Tether International Ltd, the issuer of the world's largest stablecoin USDT, increased its holdings of Bitcoin (BTC) on March 31. On-chain data analysis by firms like Arkham Intelligence shows Tether acquired roughly 8,888 BTC (8888.88888888, to be exact) for $626.84 million, bringing its total reserves to over 75,000 BTC.

This acquisition solidified Tether's position as the seventh-largest holder of Bitcoin globally, according to data from Bitinfocharts. With Bitcoin's current market price exceeding $66,000, Tether's BTC holdings boast a combined value of around $5 billion or around 5% of its total reserves.

Last May, Tether announced its strategy of allocating a portion of its profits towards Bitcoin purchases. The company first disclosed its Bitcoin holdings in May 2023, stating its intention to invest up to 15% of its profits in the cryptocurrency. Tether's latest attestation report for Q4 2023 indicated that this strategy yielded positive results, with Bitcoin investments contributing $2.8 billion to the firm's consolidated reserves by the end of 2023. Additionally, its USDT stablecoin surpassed a historic $100 billion market capitalization mark last month and currently maintains a market cap exceeding $105 billion.

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"The decision to invest in Bitcoin, the world's first and largest cryptocurrency, is underpinned by its strength and potential as an investment asset," said CEO Paolo Ardoino last May.

Tether's decision to increase its Bitcoin holdings coincides with heightened institutional interest in the cryptocurrency. The recent approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States and the upcoming Bitcoin halving event, scheduled for April 20, 2024, are contributing factors. The halving event is expected to cut the block reward for miners in half and significantly impact Bitcoin's supply and price dynamics.

Tether focuses on real-world challenges

This week, Tether reached another milestone when it announced a $100,000 grant to the BTCPay Server Foundation, a free and open-source payment processor software for BTC and USDT globally, committed to privacy and freedom. The grant strengthens Tether's ties with FOSS, the free and open-source software movement, and its community.

"By supporting the BTCPay Server Foundation, we are investing in the future of digital payments and empowering developers to create innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of users around the globe."

In November last year, Tether announced an expansion into Bitcoin mining, with plans to invest $500 million over the next six months, Ardoino told Bloomberg. This ambitious goal includes building mining facilities in South America (Uruguay, Paraguay, and El Salvador) with a combined capacity of 40-70 megawatts. Tether also aims to acquire stakes in existing mining companies and potentially develop alternative mining solutions. Tether will have a dual revenue stream by mining Bitcoin: transaction fees and newly minted coins, in addition to a significant stake in the token network's health and security. The USDT issuer aims to reach 1% of the total Bitcoin mining hash rate.

Under Ardoino's helm, Tether will also venture into artificial intelligence, the firm reported on March 26. Tether will focus on pioneering open-source, multimodal AI models, promoting collaboration and accessibility within the AI community, and facilitating broader development. Tether emphasized its plan for integrating AI solutions that address real-world challenges: a "Pure Real World Ecosystem aka 'Things that people actually need'," Ardoino said.

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