Bitfinex and Tether Respond to CoinDesk’s Improper Litigation Campaign to Expose Proprietary Business Information

On February 4th.2022, Bitfinex and Tether submitted their response to CoinDesk in the legal proceedings concerning whether certain of the companies’ investment data, compliance procedures, and other proprietary information is exempt from public disclosure under New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

CoinDesk’s reckless campaign to expose the companies’ proprietary business would needlessly risk harm to the companies’ competitive position and compliance controls. It would also upset the balance that the companies carefully negotiated in settling their disputes with the Office of the New York Attorney General (NYAG). The settlement specified what information should be disclosed publicly (such as a breakdown of Tether’s reserves by category) and what should be disclosed privately to NYAG (such as particular investment details). The private aspects are those that no business would publish for the competition to exploit.

One can only wonder what is motivating CoinDesk, which failed to mention in its papers a glaring conflict of interest—namely, that it is a subsidiary of an investor in Tether’s primary competitor.

Notwithstanding CoinDesk’s meritless arguments, Tether is proud of its industry-leading commitment to transparency, which goes above and beyond what has been agreed just a year ago with NYAG. On a quarterly basis, Tether releases a Consolidated Reserves Report (CRR) with an accompanying Independent Accountant’s Report using assurance procedures. The CRR includes detailed rating data about the assets backing USDT. Tether’s website is also updated on a daily basis with a summary of its assets and liabilities.

With Bitfinex’s and Tether’s latest filing, this matter is ready for a decision from the Court. Apart from the filings from the companies and from CoinDesk, the Court will also be considering a brief, earlier submission from NYAG which, in essence, urged the Court to review the documents in dispute and to make a decision based on that review. Notably, NYAG declined to offer any substantive argument for the dangerous position CoinDesk is now advancing.

Important interests are at stake in any forthcoming decision. Bitfinex and Tether have worked hard to advance their standing among the competition, and, in these proceedings and elsewhere, must protect those gains against the likes of CoinDesk or others seeking to tear down what the companies have proudly built. They look forward to the Court’s decision.




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