It’s ‘clear’ the US government is going after Tether: Ripple CEO

    13 May 2024

    Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse says it is “clear” that the United States government is “going after” stablecoin issuer Tether — which could have an unpredictable impact on the crypto markets.

    Garlinghouse said on a May 10 episode of the World Class podcast there would “100%” be another crypto-related black swan event such as the collapse and subsequent uncovering of fraud perpetrated by FTX’s executives.

    “The U.S. government is going after Tether, that is clear to me,” he said without elaborating and stopping short of calling any possible U.S. action against Tether the next black swan. He instead called it an “interesting one to watch.”

    “I view Tether as a very important part of the ecosystem,” the Ripple boss said. He added he doesn’t know how to predict what impact potential U.S. regulatory action against Tether would have on the crypto ecosystem.

    Garlinghouse’s comments come as Ripple is planning to launch its own stablecoin this year.

    Tether Holdings Limited is the parent company for a web of similarly-named subsidiaries incorporated all over the world responsible for various operations in the issuance and management of the stablecoin Tether — the world’s largest by market capitalization.

    In October last year, U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis and Representative French Hill urged the Department of Justice in a letter to “carefully evaluate the extent to which Binance and Tether are providing material support and resources to support terrorism.”

    Tether responded to the letter saying it had “always assisted law enforcement” when asked and was “fully committed” to continuing work with authorities globally.

    Bloomberg reported in November 2022 that Manhattan-based U.S. Attorney Damian Williams took over an earlier Justice Department probe into Tether’s alleged concealment of crypto-linked funds from banks it used to move cash.

    The company has also been criticized for its lack of transparency regarding its backing reserves and in recent years has published quarterly third-party audits on its USDT-backing treasury.

    In October 2021 it paid a $41 million fine to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission after the regulator said Tether “misrepresented to customers” its reserve holdings and found it held sufficient fiat reserves to back USDT for “only 27.6% of the days” between June 1, 2016 to Feb. 25, 2019.

    Ripple has plans to launch a U.S. dollar stablecoin later this year, with Ripple chief technology officer David Schwartz telling Cointelegraph last month that it would back its token with dollar deposits, short-term government Treasurys and “other cash equivalents.”


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