Ethereum's Joseph Lubin: Bitfinex, Tether Situation ‘Probably Won't Get Better’

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, who’s also the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency-related software company ConsenSys, has recently stated he believes the Bitfinex, Tether situation seems to be a “really big mess” that “probably won’t get better.”

Speaking to Bloomberg at the sidelines of the Fluidity Summit conference in New York, Lubin revealed he thinks some good may come out of it, as other stablecoins may gain traction. He was quoted as saying:

Tether is somewhat important to our ecosystem because it’s used by different institutions to effect more fluid trading. There are other price-stable tokens out there -- many others -- and I think they’re going to gain traction because of this. I think that will be a really good thing.

As covered, Bitfinex was accused by New York’s Attorney General of participating in a cover-up to hide $850 million in losses. The allegations revived concerns over Tether’s backing, as it was supposed to have 1 USD in reserve for every USDT token in circulation.

Earlier this year the company quietly diluted its reserve claims, and soon after it was revealed that USDT is backed by cash and short-term securities equal to 74% of USDT tokens in circulation. Worryingly, Tether accounted for over 80% of bitcoins’ trading volume as of March of this year.

Bitfinex reportedly lost the $850 million as a third-party payment processor claims the funds were seized by governments throughout the world. To fix the situation it’s set to hold a $1 billion initial exchange offering (IEO) that’s said to already have lined up the $1 billion in commitments.

Regarding concerns Tether’s USDT tokens have been used to manipulate the price of bitcoin – something the US Department of Justice is investigating – Lubin noted that “all prices on the planet are being manipulated.” He added:

Any time that well-resourced actors can get in there and do something, you have to expect them to do that. So we need to build better system.

Lubin added that the “status of things is great,” as last year’s price correction aw the system grow “enormously” as those who were “pulled in by excitement riven by price growth” stayed in the crypto space and have been helping build it.