Changpeng Zhao, CEO of the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, took aim at USDT for an apparent lack of transparency when it comes to its financial records. 

In a Monday “ask me anything” session on Twitter Spaces, Zhao said that he had never personally seen any audit reports on USDT, despite its position as the largest stablecoin by market capitalization. 

“So, it [USDT] is kind of a black box…and because we don’t know, there’s a certain level of risk,” said Zhao.

He went on to note that the perceived need for an audited centralized stablecoin was the reason behind Binance’s decision to partner with Paxos to issue the Binance-branded regulated stablecoin BUSD. Although the New York financial regulator has now shut down BUSD, the fact that the wind down process is “very orderly” shows that “all the assets are there,” Zhao said.

Meanwhile, Tether, the firm behind USDT, published an attestation report by independent accounting firm BDO, detailing an $850 million increase in excess reserves, which now sits at $3.3 billion.

“Tether’s reserves remain extremely liquid, with 85% of its investments held in cash and cash equivalents,” said the firm in a blog post on Monday.

According to Tether, its stablecoins are backed by about $72.5 billion worth of U.S. Treasury bills. The firm also disclosed a $115 million share buyback and operational profits of over $1 billion, representing a 30% increase from the last quarter. 

“Transparency is not just a buzzword for us; it is the cornerstone of our philosophy. We believe that open communication and strong financials foster trust and reliability, and this is what the global community deserves especially in a year devastated by many failures across the banking and crypto industry,” said Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino.