FTX On Steroids: Is ‘Tether’ The Real Biden World Cryptocurrency Scheme?

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The collapse of FTX and its founder is one of the most spectacular implosions in history. There is no shortage of narratives to mine for interesting article fodder. Celebrities like Tom Brady and his now ex-wife Gisele lost millions to the scam…

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Just days ago, Bloomberg estimated 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) personal wealth at an astonishing $16 billion. Now, the disgraced FTX founder is essentially bankrupt, and if there is a shred of justice in the world, soon headed for prison.

There’s the Silicon Valley “smart money” that was hopelessly entranced by a wunderkind founder. SBF also used his ill-begotten lucre to become one of the largest donors in left-wing politics of the past four years. There’s also the FTX pet philosophy of “effective altruism,” the cult-like fad ideology of contemporary Silicon Valley that SBF exploited to conduct his fraud and justify taking enormous risks. And who can forget the 28-year-old girlboss CEO of Alameda Research Caroline Ellison, who bragged that her vast financial empire only requires “elementary school math” to turn profits, and whose public list of turn-ons includes “controlling major world governments.”

Last but not least, there’s the group sex (don’t worry, everyone involved in this “polycule” situation is hideous).

All of these storylines are being regurgitated ad nauseum by countless other media outlets. The story that Revolver is about to tell you is even bigger and more spectacular than all the other fascinating storylines listed above. In fact, dear reader, FTX may not even be the biggest scam in crypto. Another, even more spectacular scam may still be live, ready to collapse at any moment… if anyone decides to take a real look at it.

The story you’re about to hear concerns the third-largest crypto-currency on the planet, which you’ve probably never heard of. And to top it all off, there is reason to believe that if this cryptocurrency is the scam that it appears to be, it will nonetheless be allowed to continue because of this particular cryptocurrency’s usefulness to intelligence agencies in funneling money to foreign rebel groups and jihadis with plausible deniability.

Sound crazy? Sound interesting? Strap in, it’s about to get wild.

USDT, or Tether, is what is known as a “stablecoin.” A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency that, instead of fluctuating in value, is intended to hold to a consistent price. Tether is a USD stablecoin — each Tether is supposed to be equal in value to one U.S. dollar. While most cryptocurrencies are wildly speculative and backed by essentially nothing, each Tether is supposed to be backed directly by a U.S. dollar, or an extremely liquid, reliable investment like a U.S. Treasury Bond.

These USD stablecoins are used on cryptocurrency exchanges to conduct on-the-blockchain trades in lieu of using actual U.S. dollars. Without stablecoins like Tether, the current crypto ecosystem simply would not exist. There are multiple USD stablecoins, but Tether is by far the most popular. According to coinmarketcap.com, Tether has the third highest market cap of any crypto currency at $66 billion, trailing only Bitcoin and Ethereum. Today, fully half of all bitcoin trades globally are executed using Tether.

A year ago, crypto news site Protos summarized Tether this way:

If cryptocurrency was an engine, Tether (USDT) is one of its pistons.

Over the past seven years, the maverick stablecoin has evolved into a primary crutch for the ecosystem. It’s a tool for onboarding new money, managing and growing liquidity, pricing digital assets, and generally oiling crypto markets to keep them smooth.

Tether boasted a $1 billion market capitalization when Bitcoin hit $20,000 at the end of 2017. This year, it’s a $70 billion-plus powerhouse.

Practically every crypto exchange supports USDT trade in some form. The makeup of Tether’s reserves and its inner workings are yet to be disclosed in clear detail.

Still, the question of who exactly buys Tether directly from its parent company Bitfinex has remained unanswered since its inception way back in 2014.

Earlier this year, Protos shed light on that mystery by reporting that just two companies, Alameda Research and Cumberland Global, were responsible for seeping roughly two-thirds of all Tether into the crypto ecosystem.

[Protos]

Did that last sentence set off any alarm bells? It should have. Alameda Research is the quantitative trading firm founded by Sam Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried and his partner in crime, Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, allegedly propped up their trading firm by plundering FTX customer accounts.

The inner workings of Tether remain remarkably opaque. New Tethers are supposed to only be minted, and added to the crypto ecosystem, when somebody gives Tether Limited dollars to create them. And if that’s how it all worked, Tether would be fine.

But there is no evidence Tether actually works this way. There is no proof that Tether stablecoins are backed by the store of tangible assets that is supposed to justify their value.  

Despite first being released eight years ago, Tether has never been audited in any way. It first promised an audit in 2017…to, you know, happen eventually. How is that coming along? As reported by the WSJ, “Tether Says Audit Is Still Months Away as Crypto Market Falters:”

By Jean Eaglesham and Vicky Ge Huang
Updated Aug. 27, 2022 5:33 am ET

Tether is designed to grease the rails of the roughly $1 trillion cryptocurrency market by promising each token can be redeemed for $1. Market observers have long questioned whether the firm’s reserves are sufficient and have been demanding audited information.

The company has been promising an audit since at least 2017. An audit is “likely months” away, said Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer of Tether Holdings Ltd., which issues the tether coin that recently carried a market value of $68 billion.

“Things are going slower than…we would like,” Mr. Ardoino said.

Instead of a full audit, Tether, like other leading stablecoins, publishes an “attestation” showing a snapshot of its reserves and liabilities, signed off by its accounting firm.

Audits are typically more thorough than other types of attestation. The attestations for some crypto companies sign off on the numbers provided by the company’s management for a specific date and time without testing the transactions before or after that date. That process can make the reports more vulnerable to being used to paint an unduly rosy picture.

A 2017 attestation of Tether was skewed by its sister company, Bitfinex, transferring $382 million to its bank account, hours before the accountants checked the numbers, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said last year.

Take a moment to register that: In 2017, when Tether’s total market cap was still under $1 billion, it needed a last-minute transfer of $382 million just to sly its way through a non-audit attestation of its assets. This is ominously reminiscent of the accounting trick used by borrowers to obtain so-called “liar loans” in the run-up to the 2008 subprime mortgage crash.

That 2017 attestation, incidentally, led the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to fine Tether $41 million last year, without the company admitting any wrongdoing. Tether also paid an $18.5 million fine to New York state to settle claims that it misrepresented its reserves. The settlement forced Tether and its associated Bitfinex exchange to cease operations in New York. Crucially, though, none of these fines have fully exposed how Tether works, forced it to change its methods, or even compelled it to admit wrongdoing. Tether essentially made a political payoff, it seems, and moved on.

You know things are fishy when even legendary scammer Jordan Belfort calls you out:

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It’s important to state what is happening if Tether is not actually backed by the dollars that it claims. If Tether Limited is pumping out new Tethers without actually taking in an equal amount of USD, then it is essentially a privately-run money printer.

Just manufacture new Tethers, pump them into a crypto exchange, use them to buy bitcoin, then sell the bitcoin for real U.S. dollars.

That would be, in the words of Dire Straits, “Money For Nothing:”

To avoid a Dire Straits situation, in other words, the whole system must place its faith in the unaudited pinky promise of Tether’s management team. So, what remarkable financier is behind this arrangement? What person of impeccable morals is helming Tether such that it commands so much importance in the global crypto ecosystem despite doing so little to merit confidence?

“Wait, is there somehow an Epstein connection here?” Oh, you bet there is an Epstein connection here.

In early 2011, about a decade after the Digital Entertainment Network imploded, [Brock] Pierce visited the Virgin Islands to attend “Mindshift,” a conference of top scientists hosted by Epstein. A representative for Pierce says he didn’t even know who Epstein was when he flew (commercial) to the event, which the financier had arranged as part of his elaborate effort to launder his lurid reputation. It was not even 18 months after Epstein had completed his slap-on-the-wrist solicitation sentence in Florida and registered as a sex offender.

Nothing suggests that anything of a sexual nature or anything untoward at all occurred at Mindshift. Pierce is only one of dozens of figures in Epstein’s dizzyingly vast network, and the link between the two may be nothing but a curiosity. 

[Hollywood Reporter]

So, we have world’s third largest crypto currency, a stablecoin that has never been audited, founded by a washed up former child actor involved in a sex scandal with underaged minors that quietly dissipated without charges, who has prospered in crypto despite zero technical background, and who maintained a hard-to-explain connection to Jeffrey Epstein. But hey, Pierce says he hasn’t actually been involved with Tether since 2015. And maybe Pierce was just the “celebrity” face of the venture, and the other leaders have more legitimate background.

Tether’s CEO is Jean-Louis van der Velde:

The chief executive of Tether ran a company that faced a string of lawsuits in China over unpaid bills and fines for late tax payments before he helped launch the contentious stablecoin now at the heart of the crypto industry.

As crypto has moved from finance’s fringes to its mainstream, investors have increasingly relied on stablecoins, digital tokens backed by real-world assets, as a means to buy and sell volatile currencies such as bitcoin.

But as Tether’s role in the crypto universe has mushroomed since it was founded in 2014, with $78bn of its stablecoins now in circulation, so has scrutiny from regulators. The company’s rapid rise has also turned the spotlight on publicity-shy chief executive Jean-Louis van der Velde.

The 58-year-old Dutch native’s career, spanning IT sales in Hong Kong, Germany’s software industry and an ailing Chinese electronics manufacturer, gave few hints of the significant role he would later assume.

While US politicians race to gather more information on Tether, even some of the group’s biggest customers say they have had few dealings with its chief executive.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the chief executive of FTX, the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange recently valued at $25bn, told the Financial Times earlier this year that he had only met van der Velde once in person.

“My sense is that he’s less involved in the external operations aspect of the business and more involved in internal management and leadership,” Bankman-Fried said. Another cryptocurrency executive who has had dealings with Tether’s management put it more bluntly: “I don’t know a lot about JL and most people don’t.”

[Financial Times]

Well, how about Tether’s CFO, Giancarlo Devasini?

When Giancarlo Devasini first got into cryptocurrencies in 2012, his interests were distinctly small-time. He piped up on a popular Bitcoin forum to ask if anyone wanted to buy DVDs or CDs for 0.01 bitcoin each, then roughly 11 cents, promising free shipping for bulk orders.

Today, the 57-year-old is one of the most influential players in the global cryptocurrency marketplace. From his position as chief financial officer at Bitfinex, a major exchange, and at Tether, its sister currency which has tokens worth $60bn in circulation, industry executives say he is the key decision maker at two companies that now sit at the heart of the opaque daily flows of crypto money worth billions of dollars.

His first calling was as a plastic surgeon, although he quit the profession just two years out of university in 1992 after despairing at the job.

“All my work seemed like a scam, the exploitation of a whim,” he told an Italian art gallery in 2014. He recounted his particular frustration that one woman could not be talked out of reducing her breasts even though they “fit her perfectly”, as he put it.

As it turns out, “seemed like a scam” may be a fitting description of Devasini’s entire life.

The young doctor turned away from moulding flesh and embarked on a career dealing in electronics. He built a group of companies in Italy that, according to his Bitfinex profile page, and reiterated by Tether in response to questions from the FT, he grew to over €100m in revenue and which he says he sold shortly before the 2008 financial crisis.

Italian company documents cast his business background in a very different light. In 2007, Devasini’s business empire had revenues of just €12m and was subsequently dealt a deathblow by a devastating fire at Devasini’s warehouse and offices in February 2008. The parent company of the group, Solo, went into liquidation in June that year.

In 1996, not long after he had left medicine for business, he paid 100m lira — then around $65,000 — in a counterfeiting settlement with Microsoft. A decade later, in 2007, Toshiba sued another of his entities, Acme, for alleged infringement of its patents for DVD format specifications.

In March 2010, another of Devasini’s companies, a Monaco entity called Perpetual Action Group, was banned from Tradeloop, the online used-electronics marketplace. A month earlier, an American buyer had complained about $2,000 worth of memory chips they had bought from PAG. “[One] box was filled with a large block of wood,” the buyer claimed.

Tether says Devasini sold PAG in 2008 and was not involved with the company after that point, before clarifying that he began winding up the business in late 2009. Tradeloop’s forums in 2010 include messages showing Devasini dealing with the complaint, and messages from an associate saying Devasini had personally packed the boxes.

What an incredibly sketchy character! Is anybody willing to speak up in his defense?

For Bitfinex and Tether’s customers, [Devasini] is ever present.

“He’s responsive 24/7, and he’s not just responsive to crises or unbelievable opportunities, he’s responsive to day-to-day operations,” says Sam Bankman-Fried, the chief executive of FTX, a Hong-Kong based cryptocurrency exchange.

Bankman-Fried says Devasini has “a lot of pride” in what he has built at Bitfinex and Tether. “He’s really grateful for the people that supported him. He’s certainly fairly annoyed at people he sees as . . . shitting on his businesses without real reason for it.”

[Financial Times]

The funny thing about all of the above is that it’s all really obvious. Tether is apparently run by serial scammers. Its books aren’t open. It’s CEO and CFO refuse public interviews. The company’s unofficial spokesman is its CTO, who is just a developer.

If, as it turns out, Tether turns out to be the next FTX on steroids, the implications for the entire cryptocurrency project are existential. Tether is not just the third largest cryptocurrency in existence, its function as the dominant stable coin facilitating transactions means it is one of the major crutches upon which the entire crypto ecosystem stands.

For this reason, crypto experts tell Revolver that “true-believers” in crypto often turn a blind eye to the dark and damning questions surrounding Tether due to the implications this would have on the entire crypto project.

One crypto veteran we spoke to described the Tether situation in rather vivid terms:

“I have a soft spot for thinking kindly of crypto-libertarians, but they all go Ponzi Mindset when it comes to Tether,” he said. “In order to be congruent and confident in the future they need to believe Tether isn’t a burning bag of shit overlayed on top of a flaming diarrhetic volcano. Everything that in retrospect looks super shady and how-did-they-get-away-with-it-for-so-long for FTX is WNBA-tier compared to the 1994-Olympics Dream Team of Schemes that is Tether.”

That’s the defense of Tether from somebody who uses crypto: that Tether is an obvious scam, but with so much crypto speculation going on and so much short-term profit to be had, it’s better to just not think about it.

So, if Tether is so obviously shady, what might explain its stability even as the surrounding crypto ecosystem burns down? Some key fact is missing.

There is, for example, the strange coincidence of Tether being a crypto of choice for a U.S. government-backed rebels in Myanmar.

Myanmar’s shadow government said it would allow the use of the world’s largest stablecoin, Tether, as an official currency, potentially making it easier for it to raise funds and make payments.

The National Unity Government (NUG), which comprises pro-democracy groups and remnants of Myanmar’s civilian administration that was overthrown in a military coup earlier this year, has been seeking to raise funds for its “revolution” to topple the ruling military government.

The military government has outlawed the NUG and designated it a “terrorist” movement.

Tin Tun Naing, NUG’s minister in charge of planning, finance and investment, said in a December 11 Facebook post that the NUG would officially recognise USD Tether, which he said would enable better and faster transactions.

[Al Jazeera]

So it looks like US-backed paramilitary resistance funding is routed through Tether, causing pundits to ask: can stablecoins bankroll democracy?

Pretty wild, huh? The al-Qaeda affiliated Sunni rebel groups of Syria also just so happen to love Tether.

BitcoinTransfer is also at the heart of a network providing money to terror groups. In August 2020, the US Department of Justice revealed BitcoinTransfer had acted as a central hub in six terror-funding operations and called for the forfeiture of 155 cryptocurrency addresses linked to the exchange. Other research has also pointed to BitcoinTransfer’s jihadist connections.…

BitcoinTransfer itself has processed 36 bitcoin – just over $2 million based on current prices – in 679 transfers since December 2018, according to Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics firm that assisted the US indictment reported last year. Maddie Kennedy, a spokesperson for Chainalysis, says the company has not detected any further funds being sent to addresses associated with BitcoinTransfer since the August indictment. In the same period, BitcoinTransfer has ramped up its operations and opened new branches in Idlib while also moving from bitcoin to a stablecoin called USD-Tether. Tether is a cryptocurrency pegged to the price of the US dollar and has the highest volume of any cryptocurrency in circulation.

BitcoinTransfer opened its first store in December 2018. As well as buying and selling cryptocurrency, it runs workshops teaching people how to trade. It opened its second branch in Sarmada, a town in the north of Idlib governorate, in October 2020.

A] jihadi [Telegram] trading channel shared content about a range of cryptocurrencies, including Avalanche, Cardano, Fantom, Litecoin and 1INCH, among others. A message sent to the group on March 11 appeared to be soliciting donations to supply Muslim refugees with cryptocurrency wallets and Tether. It linked a Tether address associated with the Tron blockchain. Soliciting charity is a common pattern in jihadi fundraising campaigns. In many cases, crowdfunding campaigns were military operations posing as charities – phenomena referenced in the Department of Justice indictment and that has been widely documented throughout the civil war.

[Wired UK]

The US Government’s history of backing of al-qaeda linked Sunni rebel groups in Syria has always been vexing and complicated. Remember the infamous Wikileaks-released email in which Hillary Clinton acknowledged Al-Qaeda is on our side in Syria? If only there were a mechanism to quietly launder money to these US backed groups with deniability!

Tether is not just the cryptocurrency of choice for US-backed rebel groups. It has also become a favorite of drug cartels, which, according to some journalists, are deeply intertwined with U.S. three-letter agencies, including the CIA.

When the U.S. placed sanctions on Tornado Cash, a crypto service that assists in concealing the transfer of crypto funds, Tether ignored that sanction. One might expect that defiance to draw the wrath of U.S. regulators. Yet when the Washington Post looked into the matter, regulators seemed surprisingly unbothered.

So far, the U.S. government has not taken action. “Tether has not been contacted by U.S. officials or law enforcement with a request” to freeze transactions with Tornado Cash, Tether’s chief technology officer, Paolo Ardoino, said in a statement, adding that the company “normally complies with requests from U.S. authorities.” … When asked whether Treasury considers Tether to be in violation of Tornado Cash sanctions, the department declined to comment.

[Washington Post]

Tether demand skyrocketed in Ukraine right after the Russian military operation began in February of this year. Ukrainian charities made appeals for Tether-based donations.

All of this was aided by Tether’s special advantage for use in money laundering, according to Bloomberg:

Tether… broke just about every rule in banking. Banks keep track of everyone who has an account and where they send their money, allowing law enforcement agencies to track transactions by criminals. Tether Holdings checks the identity of people who buy coins directly from the company, but once the currency is out in the world, it can be transferred anonymously, just by sending a code. A drug lord can hold millions of Tethers in a digital wallet and send it to a terrorist without anyone knowing.

[Bloomberg]

From all this, an alternative possibility emerges: Tether, despite being a scam, persists because for at least some portion of the U.S. government, the scam’s survival is useful, be it for intelligence or subterranean geopolitics.

Ironically, Tether having some kind of hidden link to U.S. intelligence would be a best case scenario for crypto. After all, that would at least explain why Tether maintains its value so reliably despite so many red flags.

By the way, there’s a blueprint for this. It’s time for a brief digression about the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

Ostensibly founded by Pakistani national Agha Hasan Abedi, BCCI at its peak was the 7th-largest private bank in the world with more than $20 billion in assets. But in 1991, the bank spectacularly collapsed in a scandal involving bribery, gunrunning, drugs, terrorism, and theft of customer funds—among other things. Now is not the time to tell that whole story, but there is one aspect worth highlighting:

As bank busts go, the mushrooming scandal over the Bank of Credit and Commerce International may be the great-granddaddy of them all. The collapse of BCCI, in what is said to be a multinational fraud of historic dimensions, allegedly involved bribery, corruption, money laundering, gunrunning, drug smuggling, terrorism and upwards of $5 billion in lost or stolen assets in more than 70 different countries. It has now set off a search for scapegoats in Washington, where it is widely believed the U.S. government was slow to pick up the scent. Jack Blum, a former U.S. Senate investigator who has played a key role in bringing the BCCI mess to the American public’s eye, last week summed up Washington’s “overall distaste” for the BCCI case in graphic terms. The scandal, Blum said, was obvious to many government officials but never mentioned-something like “a cesspool overflowing on the front lawn.”

The CIA was in the middle of it. From a variety of sources both inside and outside the agency, NEWSWEEK has established a pattern of CIA involvement with BCCI that is more extensive, and more troubling to some, than the bland official statements that have been issued so far. Although agency officials insist the CIA’s relationship with the bank was entirely proper and legal, there is little question that it had what one source called “intimate knowledge” of BCCI’s alleged dealings with terrorists, drug dealers and corrupt government officials all over the world. BCCI was “aggressively” targeted as a gold mine of intelligence on a wide variety of illicit activities, according to CIA Deputy Director Richard Kerr-and that, according to NEWSWEEK sources, almost certainly means the CIA’s Directorate of Operations had its own informants working inside the bank. The CIA kept funds at various BCCI branch offices, and it allegedly used BCCI’s home office in Pakistan as a conduit for some of the $2 billion in secret U.S. aid to mujahedin rebels fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan. A large chunk of that covert funding, Blum testified, was allegedly stolen by corrupt Pakistani officials using BCCI accounts.

[Newsweek]

The exact scope of the CIA’s involvement with BCCI is unknown even today. At a minimum, the CIA knew about the bank’s criminal behavior, but didn’t blow the whistle to other authorities because of how much intelligence it generated. But there is also the possibility that the CIA actively hindered efforts to bring the bank down… or even that the CIA was linked to the bank from the very beginning:

One former officer of the bank recalls a conversation he had in the early 1980s with a close associate of Abedi’s, a Pakistani who had worked for [his] United Bank and then joined BCCI when it was established. The Pakistani said that Abedi had worked with the CIA during his United Bank days and that the CIA had encouraged him in his project to launch BCCI, since the agency realized that an international bank could provide valuable cover for intelligence operations. The Pakistani mentioned one U.S. intelligence official by name: Richard Helms, the director of the CIA until early 1973. Helms later became a legal client of Clark Clifford’s and a business partner of two BCCI insiders. “What I have been told,” says this source, “is that it wasn’t a Pakistani bank at all. The guys behind the bank weren’t Pakistani at all. The whole thing was a front.”

[Newsweek]

Is Tether the new BCCI? Is crypto’s entire infrastructure built on top of a naked scam, perpetuated and kept alive because unseen actors have decided its survival is more useful than its demise?

That may all sound too ridiculous to be real. Surely the best argument that Tether is legitimate is simply that it has continued for years without collapsing. But until two weeks ago, that was the best argument for FTX as well. Today, it feels incredibly obvious that FTX was a fraud: Gee, maybe headquartering a crypto exchange in the Bahamas to dodge and buy off all oversight was a tell? Maybe somebody should have realized that FTX having no chief financial officer was also a giant red flag?

After all, we learned that FTX’s disgraced founder Sam Bankman Fried played a non-negligible role in the Tether ecosystem. According to a report released barely a year ago, Sam Bankman Fried’s trading fund Alameda Research (which he allegedly stole from FTX reserves to fund) has an enormously significant business relationship with Tether:

Practically every crypto exchange supports USDT trade in some form. The makeup of Tether’s reserves and its inner workings are yet to be disclosed in clear detail.

Still, the question of who exactly buys Tether directly from its parent company Bitfinex has remained unanswered since its inception way back in 2014.

Earlier this year, Protos shed light on that mystery by reporting that just two companies, Alameda Research and Cumberland Global, were responsible for seeping roughly two-thirds of all Tether into the crypto ecosystem.

As Protos reported in August, market makers Alameda Research (spearheaded by crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried) and Cumberland Global (a subsidiary of trading giant DRW) are still the biggest fish in Tether markets.

Together, Alameda and Cumberland received at least $60.3 billion in USDT across the time period analyzed, equal to around 55% of all outbound volume — ever.

$49.2 billion (71%) of Alameda and Cumberland’s USDT was acquired in the past year alone, equal to about 60% of all Tether issued in that time.

Tether sent almost $36.7 billion in USDT to Alameda Research.

[Protos]

The close relationship between FTX and Tether naturally leads us to wonder what, if any, relationship Sam Bankman-Fried maintained with the questionable cast of non-public facing characters allegedly running Tether. Was Sam Bankman-Fried’s relationship with Tether partially to reputationally whitewash Tether before the money reached critical elements of the Democrat machine?

And given all of this, should we expect Tether to go the way of its smaller cousin FTX?

Two powerful forces may in fact spare Tether FTX’s fate:

The first, on the public side, may be the sheer intensity with which people choose to not even think about it. There is a lot of youthful energy and idealism behind crypto, in addition to many people’s fortunes, and the thought that something as big and fundamental to the crypto ecosystem as Tether could be a complete scam might very well be a difficult pill for many to swallow. Indeed, many in the crypto-sphere have embraced cryptocurrencies as a technological alternative to corrupt centralized governments. 

This brings us counter-intuitively to the second factor that may be propping up Tether: the sheer magnitude of the government’s corruption itself, and the government’s reliance on Tether as a convenient vehicle for that corruption.

Thus we are left with the possibility of a dark comedy according to which government corruption is one of the main things preventing the cryptocurrency project from spiraling into a Lehman-like collapse.

When it comes to Tether, “Too big to fail” may very well have become “Too big to even lift up the veil.”

But eventually, somebody will have to take a look. Right? ✪

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