US Justice Department Investigates Tether — Bloomberg
Following a significant fall in bitcoin price, the US Department of Justice is investigating whether the rise in cryptocurrency prices at the end of 2017 was associated with market manipulations when using the dollar-pegged and controversial Tether stablecoin, Bloomberg reports.
Federal prosecutors pay close attention in their investigation to the intricate network in which bitcoin, Tether, and the Bitfinex crypto exchange were involved. Such a network could be used to manipulate prices, several knowledgeable sources told Bloomberg.
Bitfinex and Tether Limited are managed by the same executives. When new tokens appear on the market, they are distributed primarily through Bitfinex. Some economists and traders claimed that Tether stablecoins are used to buy BTC at the most critical periods when the price for the first crypto drops. Jean-Louis van der Velde, the head of Bitfinex and Tether Limited, previously denied these allegations.
The investigation of the Department of Justice complements the case regarding Tether and Bitfinex that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) considered in January 2018. Now both departments coordinate their actions.
It is still difficult to determine whether law enforcement officers are dealing exclusively with the activities of the Bitfinex exchange. Neither the Ministry of Justice nor the CFTC makes direct accusations. Ultimately, regulators may conclude that there were no violations of the law.
As previously reported, Tether announced a partnership with the Bahamian Deltec Bank.