You have successfully emailed the post. 20,000 appeared to be driven by market manipulation. The alleged manipulation centres around exchange Bitfinex and the cryptocurrency Tether, which it is can you exchange bitcoin for dollars linked to.
The paper claims Bitfinex used Tether to buy bitcoin at times of low demand and prop up the price. It’s not the first time concerns about Tether have surfaced. Rumours have been circulating that Tether, a crypto pegged to the dollar, does not have the currency reserves to back it up. The company behind Tether strongly denies allegations. LONDON — Cryptocurrency Tether is back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Concerns have been swirling in the cryptocurrency market for months about Tether, a cryptocurrency issued by Tether Limited. Tether is meant to be backed one-for-one by the US dollar.
It plays a central role in the operation of many leading cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitfinex, but critics suggest it doesn’t have the dollar reserves it claims. If this theory is true, it has the potential to crash the price of bitcoin and potentially hobble the operations of many exchanges. Tether is a cryptocurrency that’s meant to be backed one-for-one by the US dollar. The idea is to have the price stability of the dollar combined with the operational ability of a cryptocurrency.
It’s what people in the crypto world call a “stable coin. Tether tokens are issued by Tether Limited, a company based in the British Virgin Islands according to the New York Times. Tether’s website says it is incorporated in Hong Kong, with offices in the US. The company has many of the same management team as Bitfinex, the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange that is one of the biggest in the world. Jan Ludovicus van der Velde is CEO of both Bitfinex and Tether, and Philip Potter is chief strategy officer for both businesses, for example.
What exchanges like Bitfinex do is, rather than having a client’s balance held in dollars, they hold them in USDT. So if somebody’s got their money on an exchange such as Bitfinex and they don’t have any current open positions, they’re actually probably in Tether. Many cryptocurrency exchanges have difficulty working with traditional banks, who are wary of working with crypto businesses. Tether offers a stable alternative, offering the low volatility of the dollar to both exchanges and users. Tether’s website says that it “allows you to store, send and receive digital tokens person-to-person, globally, instantly, and securely for a fraction of the cost of alternatives.
Holding client funds as Tether means exchanges can cut down on transaction costs until a client wants to redeem their funds as dollars. Then, Tether can be exchanged for those dollars. Traders also use USDT to lock in returns during times of volatility and also transfer funds from one platform to another. The company that controls and issues Tether is meant to hold US dollar reserves to back up all of the Tethers that have been issued — a little like the Federal Reserve backstops dollars with gold. Photo illustration of Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange website taken September 27, 2017.
But fears have emerged in the cryptocurrency community that Tether Limited doesn’t hold sufficient currency reserves to back all the Tethers in circulation. The claim is — and the claim has been growing lately — that they’re not holding those reserves,” Greenspan told BI. They haven’t been incredibly transparent about where they’re holding them and how much they’re holding in different places. The New York Times reported in November: “One persistent online critic, going by the screen name Bitfinex’ed, has written several very detailed essays on Medium arguing that Bitfinex appears to be creating Tether coins out of thin air and then using them to buy Bitcoin and push the price up.