It’s ‘clear’ the US government is going after Tether — Ripple CEO

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Brad Garlinghouse said he views Tether as an important part of the ecosystem and that its fate will be an “interesting one to watch.”

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It’s ‘clear’ the US government is going after Tether — Ripple CEO

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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse says it is “clear” that the United States government is “going after” stablecoin issuer Tether — which could have an unpredictable impact on the crypto markets.

Garlinghouse said on a May 10 episode of the World Class podcast there would “100%” be another crypto-related black swan event like the collapse and subsequent uncovering of fraud perpetrated by FTX’s executives.

“The U.S. government is going after Tether, that is clear to me,” he said without elaborating and stopping short of suggesting any possible U.S. action against Tether would be the next black swan. He instead called it an “interesting one to watch.”

“I view Tether as a very important part of the ecosystem,” the Ripple boss said. He added he doesn’t know how to predict what impact potential U.S. regulatory action against Tether would have on the crypto ecosystem.

Garlinghouse’s comments come as Ripple plans to launch its own stablecoin in 2024. 

Brad Garlinghouse speaking on the World Class podcast. Source: YouTube

Tether Holdings is the parent company of a web of similarly named subsidiaries incorporated worldwide responsible for various operations in issuing and managing the Tether (USDT) stablecoin — the world’s largest by market capitalization.

In October 2023, U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis and Representative French Hill urged the Department of Justice in a letter to “carefully evaluate the extent to which Binance and Tether are providing material support and resources to support terrorism.”

Tether responded to the letter, saying it had “always assisted law enforcement” when asked and was “fully committed” to continuing work with authorities globally.

Bloomberg reported in November 2022 that New York-based U.S. Attorney Damian Williams took over an earlier Justice Department probe into Tether’s alleged concealment of crypto-linked funds from banks it used to move cash.

Related: Tether slams Deutsche Bank over suggestion its stablecoin could fail

The company has also been criticized for its lack of transparency regarding the reserves backing USDT and, in recent years, has published quarterly third-party audits.

In October 2021, it paid a $41 million fine to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission after the regulator said Tether “misrepresented to customers” its reserve holdings and found it held sufficient fiat reserves to back USDT for “only 27.6% of the days” between June 1, 2016 to Feb. 25, 2019.

Ripple has plans to launch a U.S. dollar stablecoin later in 2024, with Ripple chief technology officer David Schwartz telling Cointelegraph in April that it would back its token with dollar deposits, short-term government Treasurys and “other cash equivalents.”

Magazine: Unstablecoins: Depegging, bank runs and other risks loom

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