Over the past few months, cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has been having banking issues. Specifically, users have been doubting whether or not Bitfinex, who shares management with Tether, has the dollar reserves required to back their stablecoin (USDT).
Making matters worse, some Bitfinex users have reportedly been unable to complete deposits and withdrawals. Things got so bad that as Tether issues spread, Bitcoin jumped 10% as users made a flight for safety.
After these issues, it looks like Bitfinex is trying to fix their banking partners. After leaving Noble Bank of Puerto Rico, it was confirmed that Bitfinex found a new banking partner, Deltec Bank & Trust. Deltec even went as far as to confirm with an official letter that Bitfinex was banking with them and that they have the required reserves.
At Bitfinex we stand by the integrity of our platform and the tokens we make available to our users. We do not charge listing fees, nor do we give preferential fees to any projects, traders or market makers. To discuss a listing on Bitfinex, please contact [email protected]
— Bitfinex (@bitfinex) November 2, 2018
However, all that glitters isn’t gold. Breaker Magazine recently reported that Deltec has been named in two global bribery cases. A previous Bahamian news report claims that Deltec is under investigation by the U.S. government for reportedly receiving $12M in bribes from a Venezuelan official.
Days later, Breaker also found that former Brazilian official Paulo Vieria de Souza, under investigation for the Odebrecht corporate bribery scheme, was possibly moving money through Deltec Bank & Trust. CryptoGlobe previously reported on this Brazilian case.
There’s no clear indictment so far, but Deltec is currently under investigation for these crimes. It could be found that Deltec is completely innocent, but either way, this shows some of the problems businesses face when they bank in the Bahamas. Due to their relatively relaxed banking laws, the islands have long been a tax haven and money laundering heaven.
Tether has had problems for at least a year, making users doubt their trust in the token itself. Due to this insecurity, countless stablecoin alternatives are popping up everywhere. From Gemini to Circle, various firms have launched stablecoins that compete with Tether.