Hindenburg Research Offers $1M Reward to Uncover Tether’s Backing

The firm said it “has doubts” about Tether’s backing.

Oct 20, 2021 at 2:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 20, 2021 at 7:45 p.m. UTC

Short-selling research firm Hindenburg Research is offering a bounty of up to $1 million for previously undisclosed details about the reserves backing Tether’s stablecoin USDT.

  • The firm said it “has doubts” about Tether’s backing and is launching the Hindenburg Tether Bounty Program to encourage a search for new information about it.
  • Hindenburg specifically highlighted in an announcement Wednesday Tether’s claims that a significant portion of its reserves are held in commercial paper without disclosing anything about its counterparties.
  • The program will enable users to submit information on Tether’s backing and earn rewards “in an amount up to $1 million,” Hindenburg said.
  • Regulatory scrutiny around the reserves that lie behind Tether’s stablecoin USDT and other similar instruments is well established. Hindenburg appears to be lending its weight to the work being carried out at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and on Capitol Hill.
  • In response, Tether labelled the bounty program “cynical” and a “pathetic bid for attention.”
  • “This is not the first time Hindenburg Research has orchestrated an apparent scheme in pursuit of profit. Nor will it be the last. Tether abhors and denounces their actions and transparent motives,” the stablecoin issuer said in a statement.
  • Hindenburg Research has in recent years garnered a reputation for uncovering information about publicly traded companies that sinks their share price and invites scrutiny from regulatory bodies. A report in June, for example, that suggested sports betting company DraftKings had potentially enabled black-market betting led to a subpoena from the SEC.


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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.