Stablecoin issuer Tether has announced a profit of $1.48 billion for the first quarter of this year, after rising interest rates helped the company earn higher returns on its massive reserves.
In addition to announcing the massive billion-dollar profit, Tether revealed in a press release on Wednesday that it now holds both physical gold and Bitcoin (BTC) – by some considered digital gold – as part of its reserves.
Approximately 4% of the reserves are in gold and 2% are in Bitcoin, the firm said.
Tether added that it now holds surplus reserves of $2.44 billion, a record high for the stablecoin company, after what it called “another excellent quarter.”
Tether now holds $81.8 billion in consolidated total assets, with the majority held in US Treasury Bills, the press release said, while noting that it has worked to “reduce its reliance on pure bank deposits.”
The stablecoin issuer also said that it has increased its number of tokens in circulation by 20% during the quarter.
“[This] is a clear indicator of the trust of Tether’s customers which allows Tether to be very optimistic for the future,” the firm wrote.
Tether described its reserves as “extremely liquid,” and said that approximately 85% of it is held in cash, cash equivalents, and other short-term deposits.
Stablecoin issuers like Tether typically makes money from interest it receives on its reserves.
Holders of Tether’s USDT token do not receive interest on their holdings, which means that the issuer can pocket larger and larger profits as interest rates rise.