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 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 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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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”

A Simple Deductive Argument Proving There Were Unbacked Tethers

There are certain claims and objections that I have to respond to frequently. Some people will still claim that Tether has never had unbacked Tethers. I am attempting to create a valid and sound deductive argument that will conclusively prove that is untrue. I love philosophy and deductive reasoning, so may do a few of these. If you want to respond, please respond in a manner that addresses the deductive argument, either in form or in challenging the soundness of the premises.

Continue reading “A Simple Deductive Argument Proving There Were Unbacked Tethers”

Sunday Reads – Things I Found Interesting 2021-05-23

Stu claims many things, all on his personal Medium

Stu felt he had to respond to posts like mine here:

SafeMoon the US Based, Ponzi-like, FBI Related Token

SafeMoon is a popular cryptocurrency (especially on places that prey on unsophisticated investors like TikTok) and based on reporting by Protos Media it seems to be a shit-show. Founders are US based, apply for government contracts, and may even be paying people to shill it.

USOCC Signals Caution

As the former agency head departs for Binance US, the new head signals caution and review of crypto guidance. From Nikhilesh De at CoinDesk.

Food

Helen Rosner wrote a brilliant piece at the New Yorker about the nature of exclusivity for restaurants.

Books I Read

Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday – This was an excellent book that summarized creating and marketing ‘long-tail’ projects. Art and creations that you want to continue generating forever. I also highly enjoyed Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan as well.

Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Mustangsart showed off some prosthetics they were working on for a Witcher RPG, but they are a brilliant inspiration item for any other game masters.

TBM Games has a really cool homebrew for a time-traveling rogue.

Programming

Miguel Grinberg has a new Flask library I am really excited about thanks to its potential to keep me from having to write Javascript.

ICYMI

I appeared on the COINTELPRO podcast:

Note: This posts contain affiliate links, if you purchase after following them I will make a small amount.

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The Best Case Scenario for Tether’s Activities in 2017

In 2017 Tether was issuing unbacked Tethers. This has been confirmed as part of their settlement with the New York Attorney’s General office. As an exercise in trying to ensure that I have not become overly biased around Tether what I will attempt to do in this article is construct the best case scenario for how Tether’s business was operating.

Continue reading “The Best Case Scenario for Tether’s Activities in 2017”