The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is reportedly looking into whether Tether, the issuer of the USD-pegged cryptocurrency stablecoin Tether (USDT), engaged in illegal market manipulation to prop up the Bitcoin price, during the bull run of late 2017.
Federal prosecutors, who had already opened a broader investigation into the cryptocurrency market, have now narrowed in on Tether and Bitfinex (the crypto exchange giant with whom it shares a management team)
The DoJ has also been reportedly looking into spoofing (this is the use of large volumes of fake orders to influence market prices).
Despite this Bitfinex trading volumes have also increased from a couple hundred million dollars a day, to back well over a billion a day – given the recent return of volatility to the markets.
According to data from Stablecoinswar.com, Tether (USDT) still has a market cap close to $1.75 billion. That’s 10 times bigger than its closest stablecoin competitor True USD (TUST)
Solvency – don’t trust, verify?
On 2nd November, coinrivet brought you the story of how Bitfinex’s native stablecoin, USD-Tether, had confirmed banking arrangement with Bahama-based Deltec Bank & Trust. This included issuing a signed letter from Deltec Bank, confirming that it had $1.8 billion in its portfolio.
Another proof of reserve came on 7th October, where Bitifnex published its cold storage wallet addresses for its major holdings in BTC, ETH, EOS and ERC20 tokens. At the time of writing, the assets are valued at just over $1.15 billion.