The Commodity Futures Trading Commission of the United States (CTFC) began a close study of the activities of one of the leading crypto-exchange exchanges Bitfinex and Tether, sending representatives of both organizations summonses to the court. This is reported by Bloomberg.
Against the backdrop of this news, the price of bitcoin, which had been in the negative trend for the past two days, quickly went down, dropping for a short time below $ 10,000. So, at Bitfinex, the bitcoine rate dropped to $ 9,900, while on the other popular Bitstamp exchange the price the first crypto currency fell to $ 9731.
Representatives of the CFTC have not yet commented on the news.
The publication notes that although Bitfinex and Tether on their websites and public documents do not disclose their exact location and the names of managers, in December last year a representative of both firms, Ron Torosyan, acknowledged the ties between Tether and Bitfinex.
In a letter sent to a number of media, then only the general director Jan Ludovus van der Velde, the director for strategic issues Phil Potter and the financial director Giancarlo Devazini are mentioned.
Rumors about the relationship between the two organizations have been around for a long time, but only after the leakage and publication of the Paradise Papers were factually confirmed. As stated in the documents, in the past, Potter was the director and founder of Tether, and Devazini is the shareholder of the company. The dossier is also referred to by the New York Times, which at one time published a large article about the controversy surrounding Bitfinex and Tether.
Tether has long been accused by many users and experts of releasing large amounts of undeveloped USDT tokens that are traded on a number of exchanges, including Bitfinex and Poloniex. Also, it was repeatedly stated that the uncontrolled emission of USDT became at the end of last year the reason for the sharp increase in the price of bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, which was later replaced by a sharp dump in January.
According to the results of the interim report of the audit company Friedman LLP, published in September 2017, Tether reserves were 442.9 million, which supposedly “completely covered” all the tokens.
At the same time, according to Bloomberg, as of Tuesday, January 3, about $ 2.3 billion of USDT tokens are in circulation, which should be equivalent to the same amount in US dollars.
At the end of last week Tether announced the termination of partnership with the auditing company Friedman LLP.
While it remains unclear what powers CTFC has in terms of calling representatives of companies to the court, especially given that since November 9 last year Bitfinex stopped serving US residents . However, it is possible that the regulator may be interested in transactions concluded before the specified date.