The largest stablecoin issuer Tether on June 15 published a blog post to inform the community of the news that could be announced in the future. In the blog post, Tether confirmed that New York handed over confidential documents related to a 2021 settlement with the state to CoinDesk.
In 2019, the government of New York sued Tether and its sister company, the Bitfinex exchange, for trying to cover up $850 million in losses. After nearly 3 years of dispute, in Feb 2021, Tether and New York authorities reached an agreement in which Tether ceased activity with those living in New York and paid $18.5 million in fines.
CoinDesk then filed a Freedom of Information Law request with the NYAG for the documents gathered during the investigation. Initially Tether fought the request but it said today that it dropped its opposition.
The stablecoin issuer yesterday admitted that CoinDesk had been handed over by New York authorities some confidential documents about Tether, including statements from Tether’s banks showing the full existence of their reserves, as demonstrated by publicly-disclosed, independent, third party assurance attestations.
However, Tether claimed that the documents are out of date and do not accurately reflect the present state of their reserves. For example, Tether reduced its commercial paper holdings to zero in mid-2022, and drastically reduced its secured loans portfolio, with the aim to bring it to zero in the coming months.
Tether is concerned that CoinDesk may distort information to publish articles against the company that it has repeatedly done in the past. CoinDesk, in the past, revealed a balance sheet from Alameda Research that led to the downfall of the company in just 9 days later. Tether is also monitoring the USD₮ markets and looking for further signs of manipulation designed to spread panic when and if CoinDesk decide to publish anything on this matter.
Tether has been publishing quarterly assurance reports since 2021. In its latest report as of March 31, 2023, the company claimed to hold $81.3 billion in collateral assets, with more than 50% of which being short-term US Treasuries. The company has eliminated risks such as commercial paper, as well as investing $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and $3.3 billion in gold.
As of early June 2023, the market capitalization of Tether has reached a new high when it crossed the threshold of $83.4 billion.