On March 3rd, WSJ.com filed a report on Tether, once again alleging malfeasance at the firm that is the largest issuer of a dollar-based stablecoin USDT. According to the report, a USDT trader in China was attempting to use fake documents to maintain access to “circumvent the banking system” from late 2018.
The report indicates they have viewed emails from a Tether owner, Stephen Moore, that outline the claim. They also state that Moore wanted to stop the activity as it was too risky to continue. The whole saga is described as an effort to maintain Tether’s connections to the regulated financial system.
In a blog post, Tether management rebuked the WSJ report, stating the “stale allegations from long ago is wholly inaccurate and misleading.”
The post claims that both Tether and Bitfinex have “world class compliance programs” and they adhere to all AML/CFT/KYC rules.
“Bitfinex and Tether are proud partners of global law enforcement, and routinely and voluntarily assist the United States Department of Justice and other law enforcement organizations across the world in preventing money laundering, terrorism, and other crimes by bad actors. These unfair attacks will not distract us from continuing with those efforts and offering the most liquid and reliable stablecoin experience, which the market has clearly recognized by making us the leaders in the industry.”
Both state and federal regulators are intensifying the scrutiny of stablecoin issuers which are a vital variable for the entire crypto ecosystem. Stablecoins are used to park funds between trades as crypto can be highly volatile.
Meanwhile, legislation continues to inch along in Congress that may provide new rules for stablecoin issuers to operate in a compliant manner and, perhaps, to emerge as a broader payment and transfer service.