Bitfinex and Tether Hit With Another Market Manipulation Suit

Bitfinex and its sister stablecoin issuer Tether have been handed another lawsuit alleging both firms manipulated the crypto market, following a similar such suit last month in New York, which claimed the companies created “the largest bubble in human history.”

The second suit has been filed by Eric Young and Adam Kurtz at the district court in the Western District of Washington on November 22 and draws heavily from the previous lawsuit. In an extensive list of claims, Young and Kurtz say that Bitfinex and Tether “monopolized and conspired to monopolize the Bitcoin market,” as well as manipulated the market, manipulated information, or made inaccurate claims.

The manipulation centers around Bitcoin and its massive bull run in 2017, which saw BTC trade as high as $20,000 USD. Both lawsuits cite a study by academics at the University of Texas who analyzed over 200 gigabits of data relating to the transaction history between Bitcoin and Tether and found that the surge in value in late 2017 was attributable to one large trader, or a whale in the crypto world. Bitfinex hit back at that study, claiming it was “built on a house of cards” and unsubstantiated due to a lack of a complete dataset.

Bitfinex has again responded to the new lawsuit in a blog post on Sunday. “As we predicted last month, mercenary lawyers continue to try to use Bitfinex and Tether to obtain a payday. To be clear, there will be no nuisance settlements or settlements of any kind reached. Instead, all claims raised across both actions will be vigorously contested and ultimately disposed of in due course,” the exchange wrote.

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While Bitfiex is resolute in its denial of the accusations leveled at it, the company and its sister firm Tether have regularly shrouded themselves in controversy and suspicion. Tether has frequently flip-flopped on its stance as to whether its coin is backed 1:1 with the USD. Recently, it said its stablecoin was backed by reserves but did not specify what those reserves were.

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