What links crypto trading to the world of 1980s kids’ animation? The answer comes at the end of a riveting report by Bloomberg Businessweek, which investigates the background to the wildly popular cryptocurrency Tether.
Tether is a stablecoin: it is pegged to the U.S. dollar, in theory at least. Traders buy it in order to access cryptocurrency exchanges, which generally can’t handle conventional currency. The coin is issued by Tether Holdings Ltd., which has put out 69 billion tokens in total. This supposedly leaves it holding $69 billion, but questions about where Tether’s assets are — or indeed whether it actually still has them — have dogged the company for years.
Bloomberg reporter Zeke Faux embarked on a search for the reserves that are meant to back this currency. His paper trail led him through the murk of Tether’s offshore operations, which are run by evasive executives under criminal investigation.