Just days after the conclusion of its long-running feud with the Office of the Attorney General of New York, Tether says it is now a victim of an extortion attempt. According to the stablecoin issuer, the blackmailers are threatening to release documents they claim “will harm the bitcoin ecosystem” if their demand for the payment of 500 bitcoins is not met.
Tether Not Paying the Ransom
However, in its statement dismissing the threat, Tether says the blackmailers were attempting to extort money using “forged documents.” According to Tether, the documents purport to show an interaction between Tether personnel and representatives of Deltec Bank. Still, in a Twitter thread, Tether says it will not send the 500 BTC which the blackmailers want to be paid by March 1.
The stablecoin issuer also says a formal report about the ransom demand has been made to law enforcement. Tether tweeted;
We have reported the forged communications and the associated ransom demand to law enforcement. As always, we will fully support law enforcement in an investigation of this extortion scheme.
Meanwhile, in his own tweet, Bitfinex and Tether CTO Paolo Ardiono similarly dismisses the ransom demand. He repeats the claim that while the attack is seemingly aimed at Tether, the attackers’ “main goal is to discredit bitcoin and all crypto.”
The CTO also goes on to share the screenshot of a February 27 tweet from a user going by the name Trolly McTrollface. According to the screenshot, McTrollface claims to be in possession of a leaked email from Tether to Deltec which the user says “is a crucial piece of the puzzle.”
Following the conclusion of the long-running investigation, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) determined that both Tether and Bitfinex had “recklessly and unlawfully covered-up massive financial losses to keep their scheme going and protect their bottom lines.”
However, in its statement, the OAG only acknowledges that the Bahamas-based Deltec Bank is Tether’s banker. The OAG did not say anything about the purported email dated May 3, 2020, wherein Tether personnel are asking Deltec representatives for help “in presenting their reserves in the best possible light.”
Consequently, Tether is labeling the latest rumours and the tweets “a pretty sad attempt at a shakedown.”
What are your thoughts on Tether’s latest predicament? You can share your views in the comments section below.