Paolo Ardoino reiterates that there is no reason for the SEC to now sue Tether after Ripple.

Paolo Ardoino, the chief technology officer (CTO) of crypto company Tether, is fighting back against speculation that the company’s stablecoin USDT could be the next target of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a reply to Ki Young Ju, managing director of the market research institute CryptoQuant, Ardoino accordingly wrote on Twitter that Tether strictly follows the requirements of FinCEN, the agency for combating financial crime, which in turn belongs to the Bitcoin Up US Treasury Department. Accordingly, such claims would merely be an attempt to stir up „FUD“, i.e. fear and doubt.

Ki Young had written in his original tweet: „If SEC targets Tether next, it would be very, very bad for the current uptrend as it is very much supported by USDT.“

Although Ardoino rightly points out that Tether is following anti-money laundering (AML) and information collection (KYC) requirements, he does not address Ki Young’s central criticism, suggesting that the stablecoin may be in violation of securities law. Especially if Tether’s dollar reserves are not as high as stated, there could be a violation.

In 2019, the New York Attorney General had published a legal assessment stating that Tether and its sister company, the crypto exchange Bitfinex, had jointly engaged in unlawful securities trading. According to the assessment, the two companies allegedly lent USDT to investors without it being fully covered by US dollars.

Tether’s USDT stablecoin, which is said to be only loosely linked to the US dollar, has been the subject of critical scrutiny for several years. As a reminder, stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that are supposed to maintain their namesake stability of value by being linked to an external asset such as a national currency.

In 2018, finance professor John Griffin had concluded in a study that USDT was even used to manipulate or bring about Bitcoin’s (BTC) record run in 2017.

Both Tether and Bitfinex were questioned by the US derivatives trading regulator (CFTC) in 2018 to determine whether the USDT was indeed fully hedged in US dollars. It was not possible to conclusively prove any misconduct on the part of the two companies.

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