On December 25, Tether minted 1 billion of its USDT dollar-pegged stablecoin. CEO Paolo Ardoino announced on Twitter that the mint was an "authorized but not issued transaction, meaning that this amount will be used as inventory for next period issuance requests and chain swaps". This seems to be a recent trend for Tether, as similar language was used for a $1 billion mint in September.
The activity has raised more questions around where the real money backing Tether is coming from, and if it even exists at all. Some have argued that these recent Tether mints are being used to artificially inflate the price of Bitcoin, which has been on an upward trend since mid-October.