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Amid ongoing legal proceedings, Bitfinex announces Tether loan repayment

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Cointelegraph By Andrew Thurman

In a short statement today, Bitfinex — the sister company to centralized stablecoin Tether — announced that it has repaid Tether an outstanding loan balance of $550 million. This action fully closes out a larger $750 million loan from a $900 million credit line first issued in 2018 — a credit line which has been at the center of a market manipulation lawsuit in New York and a broader lawsuit from the New York Attorney General, among other legal proceedings. 

“Bitfinex is happy to announce that in January it repaid the remaining balance of $550,000,000 of the outstanding revolving loan facility to Tether,” wrote Stuart Hoegner, general counsel at Bitfinex. “Bitfinex made this payment in fiat currency wired to Tether’s bank account. All interest due on the loan has been paid. The loan has now been repaid early and in full and the line of credit has been cancelled.”

While the loan is repaid, legal action surrounding the loan continues to move forward. iFinex Inc. — the parent company of both Tether and Bitfinex — is facing multiple class-action lawsuits as a result of the loan which allege that the company issued unbacked Tether that was then used to manipulate the market.

The company is also facing scrutiny from the New York Attorney General. Last month iFinex requested that a trial date be pushed back so the company could produce documents requested by Office of the Attorney General — the second such delay the company has requested.

Despite iFinex’s legal troubles not going away anytime soon, Bitfinex and Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino seemed to take a victory lap on social media, poking fun at the community of “Tether truthers” who believe the stablecoin poses systemic risk to the crypto ecosystem:

Bitfinex did not respond to a request for comment before publication. 





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Finance Minister predicts “very calibrated” stance

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Cointelegraph By Andrew Thurman

Yet another “crypto ban” turns out to be temporary FUD.

In an interview with CNBC this morning, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that reports of a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies are overstated. While negotiations are ongoing, she said she expects the end result to be more tempered:

“Yes, a lot of negotiations, discussions are happening, with Reserve Bank,” said Sitharaman. “Obviously the Reserve Bank will be taking a quorum on how, what kind of unofficial currency, cryptocurrency will have to be planned, and how it has to be regulated. But also, we want to make sure that there’s a window available for all kinds of experiments which will have to take place in the crypto world.”

She went on to say that regulations won’t be as “severe” as have been previously reported. Authorities will “look inward” and take a “very calibrated” stance, in contrast to the “mixed messages coming in from across the world.”

“The world is moving fast with technology. We can’t pretend that we don’t want it. […] I can only give you this clue: that we are not closing our minds, we are certainly looking at ways in which experimentations can happen in the digital world, in cryptocurrency and so on.”

The comments from Sitharaman is no doubt a source of relief for crypto businesses, users, and hodlers in the world’s second most populous country. Earlier this month, a report from Bloomberg citing a senior Indian financial minister said that the country would be banning all cryptocurrencies. 

The hypothetical ban drew widespread criticism from across the crypto community, with some likening it to an attempt to ban the Internet. Some companies found the reports to be hot air, however, and continued on with developments apace.