According to a press release issued from the Attorney General of New York, a court order was obtained against iFinex Inc., which operates both Bitfinex and the controversial stable coin, Tether. Under this court order, they are to cease violating New York law and defrauding New York residents. These are very serious allegations.
What is striking is just how much the accusations against iFiinex resembles the colossal meltdown of MF Global. For those of you that do not recall, MF Global was a commodity brokerage that called ranchers, farmers, hedge funds, and other individual investors clients.
In 2010 the board of MF Global hired former Goldman Sachs bond trader and New Jersey governor John Corzine as the CEO. Under Mr. Corzine’s short-lived tenor, MF Global accumulated a $6.3 billion USD position in some of Europe’s most indebted nations. With the European debt crisis in full swing, no counter party was willing to accept the debt instruments as collateral and MF Global went into a liquidity tail-spin.
To cover the losses, MF Global used customer funds to paper over losses associated with the European debt positions. On October 25th, 2011 MF Global reported a quarterly loss of $191.6 million as a result of European government bonds. This loss caused the major ratings agency to downgrade MF Global’s debt to junk status. Just a few short weeks later MF Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Does this sound familiar? It should as it is almost exactly what iFinex is being accused of doing by the Attorney General of New York State. According to the press release, iFinex has accumulated a $850MM USD loss of co-mingled client and corporate funds. To fill this hole, iFinex is supposedly transferring dollars from Tether’s dollar reserves, which is client money.
The parallels are striking to say the least. Tether has been a controversial stable coin for years and has done nothing but help perpetuate FUD in the markets. While I really hope this is just a major misunderstanding, would it be a bad thing if Tether was finally gone? I would argue that this would be great as the markets can finally move on and stop worrying about all the FUD associated with Tether. Sell Tether for BTC and move your crypto funds to Binance. Out with the TETHER FUD!