Tether Ordered To Freeze Transfers To Bitfinex By New York Supreme Court, Bitcoin Flash Crashes
A New York judge ordered crypto exchange Bitfinex and its affiliated stablecoin issuer Tether to turn over documentation about a loan and a line of credit Tether provided to Bitfinex. Tether Ordered To Freeze Transfers To Bitfinex by New York Supreme Court
Tether Ordered To Freeze
Judge Joel Cohen, of the state’s Supreme Court, echoed comments from a preliminary hearing held last week in New York City in an opinion published late Thursday, ordering Bitfinex and Tether execs and employees stop loaning Tether’s reserves to Bitfinex, alongside a number of other stipulations during an ongoing investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office (NYAG).
“The Court finds that the preliminary injunction should be tailored to address OAG’s legitimate law enforcement concerns while not unnecessarily interfering with Respondents’ legitimate business activities,” he wrote.
Specifically, The Judge Ordered:
- Tether cannot loan any assets to Bitfinex or other parties, except in the normal course of conducting its business;
- Tether cannot distribute any funds from its reserves to executives, employees, or other individuals except for payroll and normal contractor, consultant or vendor payments;
- Neither Bitfinex nor Tether are allowed to modify in any way documents asked for in the NYAG’s original subpoenas; and
- The injunction will expire in 90 days, but the NYAG’s office can petition the court to extend it two weeks before then.
Notably, the order seems to indicate that Tether can now invest its reserves as part of its normal operations. The company said in a previous court filing that it used its reserves for investment purposes, though it is unclear what it is investing those funds in.
A spokesperson for the company did not immediately return a request for comment.
In a statement, Bitfinex praised the judge’s decision, writing:
“We believe that the court’s decision today leaves no doubt that both Tether and Bitfinex are entitled to run their businesses in the ordinary course, even during the short period when this now narrowed preliminary injunction is in place.”
The exchange also said that the NYAG’s office acted in “bad faith,” saying it ignored “our previous historical, and voluntary co-operation with them.”
“We will vigorously defend against any action by the New York Attorney General’s office, and we remain committed, as ever, to protecting our customers, our business, and our community against their meritless claims,” the exchange concluded. Tether Ordered To Freeze
The judge’s order comes just weeks after the NYAG secured a preliminary injunction freezing Tether’s assets and asking for documents about a $625 million loan and a $900 million line of credit it offered to Bitfinex. The exchange needed to funds to continue processing customer withdrawals after losing access to some $850 million being held by Crypto Capital, a payment processor.
Crypto Capital’s operators, Reginald Fowler and Ravid Yosef, were later indicted by the Department of Justice for providing illicit banking services to crypto companies.
Bitstamp Starts Investigation After Large BTC Sell Leads To $250 Mln Liquidated on BitMEX
While the company has not specified the details of the transaction, the price of bitcoin had plummeted about 20% from around $7,800 to as low as $6,250 in less than 30 minutes earlier on the day, according to data from trading analytics platform TradingView. Briefly after the crash, bitcoin’s price has surged back, but stabilized below $7,400.
Bitstamp reported that their platform was operating properly as designed.
According to crypto news outlet The Block, the sell order on Bitstamp led to a liquidation of $250 million long positions on the BitMEX exchange, which further resulted in price declines on other crypto exchanges.
As reported by crypto publication Forklog, the sell order on Bitstamp included 5,000 bitcoins sold at $6,200. Some people in crypto community suggested that the sell order could be made by mistake, with the order’s owner having been meant to sell his bitcoin at $8,200 instead of $6,200.
Bitcoin is down around 10% over the past 24 hours to trade at $7,166 at press time after trading at around $7,800 yesterday, while 19 out of the top 20 cryptos by market cap are seeing major losses, according to data from CoinMarketCap.