The most popular and used stablecoin USDT (Tether) has long been cause for speculation in the cryptocurrency space. The speculation stems from the fact that Tether and Bitfinex have the same CEO, Jean Louis van der Velde, and that Tether is used to “pump” Bitcoin’s price on Bitfinex.
Bitfinex and Tether entered into a legal dispute with the New York Attorney General’s (NYAG) office over alleged fraud. According to the filing: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds”. As a result, Tether disclosed that USDT is only 74% backed by fiat equivalents, and by fractional banking laws, only 10% is required to be kept at hand.
After the news, Bitfinex announced a private sale of their token (LEO) as they were looking to raise up to $1 billion in USDT, which was successful. Bitfinex has since repaid$100M out of $700M of outstanding loan facility to Tether. The case remains open and iFinex has filed a motion to dismiss as the NYAG lacks jurisdiction over the company as they do not operate in New York.
Another recent event that stirred up the crypto-space was an alert by a blockchain transaction watching Twitter account (Whale Alert) that tweeted about Tether printing $5,000,000,000. This was a mistake that was quickly resolved by burning the $5B and instead of printing the original $50 million required for the Omni to Tron swap as the CTO for Tether/Bitfinex explained.
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