BCH Hash Wars and Tether Manipulation: Not a Good Look for Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Cryptocurrency, Tether (USDT)–On a day where the crypto markets are finally seeing scant amounts of green, after one of the most precipitous drops in valuation to punctuate 2018’s bear cycle, investors still have to contemplate the impact of cryptocurrency’s most controversial projects: Tether and Bitcoin Cash.
Bitcoin Cash, which appeared to have spurred some investment life back into the crypto markets in the days leading up to the Nov. 15 hard fork, as eroded the good will of the investment base by a raging conflict between the factions of the now split coin. While both parties seek to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the community, the investment landscape of cryptocurrency has suffered in the interim. Bitcoin Cash’s greed driven price-pump, like all hard forks, has pulled the carpet out from under cryptocurrency, leading to a price fall that has most of the general public heeding the “I told you so,” sentiment of most outside analysts.
While the Bitcoin Cash saga is ongoing, with the currency creating a storm of uncertainty in the back and forth vitriol between Bitcoin ABC and Craig Wright’s recently forked Bitcoin SV, the Tether controversy continues to find new life. On Nov. 20, as Bitcoin dipped below $4500 and the crypto markets hit their lowest point of the year, Bloomberg reported on a new development by the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation into Tether, the parent company behind stablecoin USDT. While the accusations against Tether and its somewhat murky relationship with exchange Bitfinex has been a long-standing black mark on the record of cryptocurrency, more recent inquiries into whether the currency played a role in BTC’s massive bull run last Q4 are just as concerning.
Tether, which has produced $1.81 billion USDT, has had to answer repeated questions over the legitimacy of the 1:1 backing for the stablecoin. While the company claims to hold a U.S. dollar in reserve for every USDT freshly minted, thereby pegging the price at a stable value, investors are still skeptical over the exact nature of Tether’s holding–despite the company switching banks within the last month. Instead of trading at its historic $1 mark, USDT has slipped to $0.98 in the crypto price fall, indicating that investors are still not placing full trust in the currency to safeguard their funds even as the crypto markets continue to plunge.
According to Bloomberg, the investigation into Tether concerns the tangled relationship between USDT, Bitfinex and the timely nature of BTC price pumps,
While federal prosecutors opened a broad criminal probe into cryptocurrencies months ago, they’ve recently homed in on suspicions that a tangled web involving Bitcoin, Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex might have been used to illegally move prices, said three people familiar with the matter…Some traders — as well as academics — have alleged that these Tethers are used to buy Bitcoin at crucial moments when the value of the more ubiquitous digital token dips. JL van der Velde, the chief executive officer of Tether Ltd. and Bitfinex, has previously rejected such claims.
With prices continuing to show shaky stability, investors can only hope that the industry moves towards more positive news and development and puts ongoing controversy in the past.