An $814 million mystery near the heart of the biggest bitcoin exchange

Section:

By Matthew Leising
Bloomberg News
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Among the many mysteries at the heart of the cryptocurrency market are these: Does $814 million of a digital token known as tether really exist? And what is tether's connection to Bitfinex, the world's biggest bitcoin exchange?

This is the state of crypto in late 2017, where questions about the companies behind the currencies are multiplying with the profits. While cryptocurrencies appeal to people who lack faith in governments and banks, the digital assets often require a blind trust in companies about which few facts are available.

Take tether. The currency, which started trading in 2015, is described as a stable alternative to bitcoin's wild price swings. A restaurant owner who accepts bitcoin but fears its volatility could shift bitcoin into tether, which can be easier to do than exchanging bitcoin for dollars. Its price has stayed near $1 for most of its life because Tether, the company behind the digital token, says that every tether is backed by one U.S. dollar held in reserve. Since there's $814 million of tether circulating, there should be $814 million parked in bank accounts somewhere.

Not everyone believes there is. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-05/mystery-shrouds-tethe...



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