On 18 May, Tether issued a new batch of tokens worth record $250 million. Thus, the total amount of USDT in circulation exceeded $2.75 billion.

It happened at 11.20 PM Pacific Time. Within 20 minutes after the issue, the bitcoin rate increased by more than $150, and Ethereum added $20. The price of other altcoins also grew. The community has repeatedly expressed opinion that with the help of USDT issue, Tether is engaged in illegal activities of manipulating the cryptocurrency market.

USDT is a so-called stable coins, whose price in theory is pegged to real assets. However, many have long doubted the reliability of Tether, as there is no evidence that its tokens are really backed by bank deposits in US dollars. An internal audit in September 2017 showed that Tether accounts have a little more than $400 million in funds, which at that time corresponded to the number of tokens in circulation. However, this check was not final, and later Friedman LLP, Tether's auditor, broke the contract with Tether.

In the near term, Tether may face growing competition from several projects which are actively engaged in the development of their own stable coins. Tomorrow, on 22 May, Binance is expected to list TrueUSD. Additionally, the cryptocurrency holding Circle, which recently announced the attraction of an additional $110 million investment, announced its plans to issue its own stable coin pegged to US dollar. The project to create the Circle USD Coin (USDC) will be launched this summer. After that, Circle plans to launch a number of stable coins, tied to the price of various fiat currencies.