Tether to Pay $41 Million for ‘Misleading’ Claims That Its Fully Backed by USD

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Cryptocurrency Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex will pay $42.5 million (roughly Rs. 318.4 crores) to settle civil charges from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over allegedly making misleading statements and making illegal transactions.

Firms doing business as Tether agreed to pay $41 million (roughly Rs. 307.2 crores) to resolve CFTC charges they made misleading claims about Tether’s cryptocurrency stablecoin, the CFTC said in a statement on Friday. According to the regulator, at various times from June 2016 to late February 2019, Tether made misleading or untrue statements about whether it held sufficient US dollar reserves to fully back up its US dollar tether token. Tether price in India as of October 16 at 4:32pm IST was Rs. 78.6.

In a separate order, firms doing business as Bitfinex agreed to a $1.5 million (roughly Rs. 11.2 crores) penalty over charges their controls were not adequate to keep US customers from illegally engaging in retail commodity transactions on the exchange. This violated US law and a 2016 settlement with Bitfinex over similar allegations, the CFTC said.

Neither Tether or Bitfinex, which are controlled by the same parent company, admitted nor denied the findings.

In a statement on its website, Tether challenged the CFTC’s statements, saying the agency’s findings were that Tether’s dollar reserves were not all in cash in a bank account titled in Tether’s name at all times, rather than that the tokens were not fully backed.

CFTC Commissioner Dawn Stump, a Republican, affirmed the agency’s findings that the “assurance provided to tether customers was not 100 percent true, 100 percent of the time” and that “wrongdoing occurred”, according to a statement published alongside the CFTC orders.

However, Stump raised concern that the resolution — the first time the CFTC has applied the definition of “commodity” to a stablecoin — would sow confusion among cryptocurrency firms and investors.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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