Most Influential 2021: Bitfinex’ed

Some of the pseudonymous account’s suspicions about Tether’s backing were vindicated this year.

AccessTimeIconDec 9, 2021 at 8:26 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:31 p.m. UTC
Layer 2

For the past four years, the pseudonymous Twitter user Bitfinex’ed has been one of the most vocal critics of the cryptocurrency industry. They’ve taken particular aim at Tether, the company behind the largest and most used dollar-pegged stablecoin, tether (USDT). Their name on Twitter, where they have 68,000 followers, is a reference to the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, which has close ties to Tether. In 2018, Bitfinex papered a hole in its budget (it’s a long story) using money from Tether’s reserves. At the time, USDT was marketed as an asset that keeps one dollar in the bank for every tether it mints, meaning after Bitfinex borrowed funds that may not have been true.

Bitfinex’ed has raised significant questions about Tether’s backing, its banking partners and about cryptocurrency broadly. This year, some of his predictions were vindicated, when the New York attorney general found that Tether has at times lied about its reserves. Time will tell if Bitfinex’ed’s other predictions come true.

(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)
(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Read more about