Tether and Bitfinex Introduction

Tether and Bitfinex Introduction Bennett's Articles

Tether and Bitfinex are two of the most important companies in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Tether is the largest stablecoin, and the primary driver of volume and liquidity. Bitfinex used to be the largest cryptocurrency exchange, and still is a frequently used exchange. Tether and Bitfinex have an incredibly problematic past and are quite possibly the largest corporate fraud in history. Read more: https://bennettftomlin.com/2021/08/08/tether-and-bitfinex-introduction/

Tether and Bitfinex are two of the most important companies in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Tether is the largest stablecoin, and the primary driver of volume and liquidity. Bitfinex used to be the largest cryptocurrency exchange, and still is a frequently used exchange. Tether and Bitfinex have an incredibly problematic past and are quite possibly the largest corporate fraud in history.

Continue reading “Tether and Bitfinex Introduction”

A Non-Exhaustive List of Bitfinex and Tether’s Misdeeds and Red Flags

This is a living document that I intend to continue to update as I continue to research Bitfinex and Tether. I hope it will serve as a useful reference material for anyone who needs to try to keep in mind their many inappropriate behaviors. If you find any I missed, feel free to leave a comment. Update: since this is a living document I wanted to provide you an archive link of the original so you can see any changes that are made. You can find that here. If you believe I made a mistake then feel free to leave a comment. It is not an introduction or summary. For that you can look here:

Continue reading “A Non-Exhaustive List of Bitfinex and Tether’s Misdeeds and Red Flags”

Tether’s Executives are Deeply Conflicted

Let’s start at the top (or more accurately at the figurehead): Jean Louis Van Der Velde, the CEO of both Bitfinex and Tether is also the executive director for a Hong Kong based Venture Capital Firm. (Archive)

Giancarlo Devasini, the Chief Financial Officer for both Bitfinex and Tether, is a shareholder and director in BlueBit Capital with Silvano di Stephano the Chief Investment Officer for Tether. BlueBit Capital is a cryptocurrency investment fund.

https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/ViewDocument?docIndex=oBdhD/5_PLUS_L7RIRhat6MJLng== (Archive)

It is unclear why Tether was suing to stop the disclosure of the identity of their CIO when we already know. I guess perhaps they do not want additional attention of BlueBit. It’s especially striking considering that Silvano was on the loan agreement between Bitfinex and Tether.

https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/ViewDocument?docIndex=0pbbMaSfXK5hx68VPp_PLUS_fWQ==
https://twitter.com/ExkrementKoin/status/1409981893907472387

Paolo Ardoino, the Chief Technology Officer for both Bitfinex and Tether, was a director for Delchain. Delchain is the cryptocurrency focused offshoot of Deltec Bank and Trust, where Tether banks. Importantly Delchain recently launched Fulgur Alpha, (archive) a cryptocurrency hedge fund that they onboarded to Bitfinex.

Claudia Lagorio, the Chief Operating Officer for Bitfinex and Tether, is married to Paolo Ardoino, a director for Delchain.

The only Tether C level executive who I have yet to find a serious conflict of interest for is Leonardo Real, the Chief Compliance Officer.

Ask yourself when was the last time you saw Tether executives or spokespeople pushed about these conflicts of interest, I have seen very little.

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Episode 26 — Cryptocurrency Lending is Too Good to Believe — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Cryptocurrency Lending is Too Good to Believe Crypto Critics' Corner

Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey explore the incredible interest rates offered by centralized cryptocurrency lenders, how they likely make their money, and whether or not any of them are "risk-free."

In this episode Cas and I discuss the problems with cryptocurrency lending companies including BlockFi, Celsius, and Nexo. They are marketed as risk-free while actually you take on significant counterparty risk. 

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Episode 25 — Remembering Fraud: WorldCom — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Remembering Fraud: WorldCom Crypto Critics' Corner

Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey reflect on a fraud that began in the 1980s and ended when the Dot-Com Bubble burst: WorldCom. Are there applicable comparisons to cryptocurrency and securities markets of today? (Hint: Yes.)

In this episode Cas and I discuss one of the biggest corporate frauds ever: WorldCom. WorldCom was a telecommunications company that used mergers and acquisitions to grow and accounting fraud to stay profitable. You can read Cas’ article on it here

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Episode 24 — C.R.E.A.M. Cumberland Rules Everything Around Me — Crypto Critics’ Corner

C.R.E.A.M. Cumberland Rules Everything Around Me Crypto Critics' Corner

Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the history and importance of DRW/Cumerbland Global, one of the top liquidity providers in the cryptocurrency space, and speculate on the influence the company exerts on the industry.

In this episode Cas and I discuss Cumberland Global (formerly Cumberland Mining) the cryptocurrency arm of DRW, a major Chicago trading firm. We discuss reporting suggesting that they are one of the top Tether issuers, and you can find that reporting here

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Episode 23 — Binance: The Tai Chi Document — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Binance: the Tai Chi Document Crypto Critics' Corner

Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey talk about the Binance Tai Chi document (which you can read about here https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeldelcastillo/2020/10/29/leaked-tai-chi-document-reveals-binances-elaborate-scheme-to-evade-bitcoin-regulators/?sh=6dbafb302a92). This was recorded *before* Binance introduced full-KYC (know-your-customer) practices, but highlights previous issues with Binance, Binance US, and other Binance affiliated companies. If you're interested in the book by Evan Ratliff that we mention, it can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Mastermind-Drugs-Empire-Murder-Betrayal/dp/0399590412

In this episode Cas and I discuss the Binance Tai Chi documents. A leaked set of documents as reported on by Forbes, which detail Binance’s plan to Binance US as part of a strategy of regulatory arbitrage. 

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Episode 22 — Blockchain Terminal with Robert Green — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Blockchain Terminal with Robert Green Crypto Critics' Corner

Robert Green (@robogreen on Twitter), a marketing consultant who ended up doing contract work for Blockchain Terminal – a company claiming to be "the Bloomberg Terminal," but for cryptocurrencies! – joins us to discuss his time at the bold project. The main problem with the company? One of the biggest fraudsters in Canadian history was running things under a pseudonym, "Shaun MacDonald," and was planning his exit scam from day one (perhaps even laundering funds from a pervious scam to bootstrap the project). Tune in to hear the full story.

In this episode Cas and I are joined by Robert Green, a marketing consultant who had worked with Blockchain Terminal. Blockchain Terminal was a fraudulent cryptocurrency company who was claiming to build the “Bloomberg Terminal” of crypto. The biggest issue with the company is that it was run by a known fraudster named Shaun MacDonald who was hiding behind the pseudonym ‘Boaz Manor’. 

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Episode 21 — Bitcoin — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the history, function, positives, negatives, flaws, and potential benefits of Bitcoin.

In this episode Cas and I discuss Bitcoin. What attracted us to it, why we think it’s useful, and the problems we see with it.

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Sunday Reads – Things I Found Interesting 2021-08-08

Binance

After less than four months the CEO of Binance US resigns.

ICYMI

In these two episodes Cas and I are joined by Frances Coppola to discuss inflation, deflation, regulation, stablecoins, and algorithmic stablecoins.

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Episode 20 – Algorithmic stablecoins and regulation with Frances Coppola (Part 2) — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Algorithmic stablecoins and regulation, Part II featuring Frances Coppola Crypto Critics' Corner

The second part of the two-part discussion with Frances Coppola. On this episode, Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey ask about algorithmic stablecoins, overcollateralized stablecoins, regulation, and historical precedent for pegged-currency failures.

In this episode Cas and I are joined by Frances Coppola to stablecoins and how they fit into the regulatory landscape. We also discuss some of the problems with algorithmic and partially collateralized stablecoins. 

You can find Frances’ Twitter here, her blog here, and her book here.

Note: This post contains an affiliate link to support the blog.

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