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Robert-Jan den Haan @erjeetjeh
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THREAD: Some takeaways from the article published today by @FTM_nl on #Tether / #Bitfinex (article is in Dutch). I worked with @thomasbollen on the research behind the article and the leads that provided were followed up by Thomas. Hope you’ll read & share…
1/ The article first discusses many, often separately reported, facts about Tether and Bitfinex, i.e. Paradise papers, loss of banking, break with audit company, +800m tethers in Jan,, and adds all sorts of details to provide an in-depth longread.
2/ While doing research into Tether and Bitfinex, we stumbled upon an ING bank account. The article particularly describes results of subsequent research steps taken by Thomas on this Dutch link. It provides some new insights, the main takeaways are outlined below.
3/ First takeaway: Bitfinex hasn’t made any formal announcement on their banking since earlier last year. Yet, Bitfinex confirmed to FTM (by asking where they could deposit) that they switched to an ING bank account to process their deposits.
4/ Second takeaway: ING themselves confirmed that the bank account in question belonged to Bitfinex / Tether. They further explained that customers involved in cryptocurrencies are screened more thoroughly before they become customers because of ‘integrity risks’.
5/ A cryptocurrency expert working at ING has previously told another Dutch financial news outlet, RTL Z, that Tether is a risk for the market. In the FTM article, he explains that his analysis, based only on public sources, is also available for ING client screening.
5/ Third takeaway: It is therefore unclear at this point why Bitfinex and Tether were able to receive an ING bank account. As far as we know, this banking relation still exists. This aspect asks for clarification.
6/ Fourth takeaway: the Dutch Authority on Financial Markets (AFM) was asked to comment on the story. They replied that they are aware of Tether and Bitfinex, but do not currently monitor their activities. The AFM was unaware of the relation to ING prior to FTM contacting them.
7/ The AFM added that they are aware of the Tether/Bitfinex subpoena of the CTFC, but not aware of the content they are looking at. They also added that they can never state anything on activities of other regulatory institutions because of confidentiality.
8/ There are critical questions raised on Bitfinex and Tether, questions also asked by others. Questions they should be able to answer, but don’t. The room seems to be filled with smoke at this point and BFX/Tether seems to want to hide the fire rather than show there is no fire.
9/ But in conclusion: there is a clear gap on who is responsible to monitor cryptocurrency exchanges or ICOs, also in the Netherlands. The AFM does not monitor – atleast not Bitfinex/Tether – and points towards the Justice department in case of fraud or criminal activity.
10/ Personal disclaimer: this thread just adds facts to what we know. I want to see blockchain technology flourish, but the current market is just unhealthy. Look separately at the tech and the market. No matter the perspective you take, Tether is serious risk to the market.
PS, I made an error when linking to @mrtbollen in the opening post of the thread! This is the right Thomas and author of the article!

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