Bitfinex & Tether Class Lawsuit Revised; Adding Bittrex and Poloniex to Alleged BTC Price Manipulation


  • Revised lawsuit on Bitfinex’s alleged price manipulation of the market using Tether (USDT) during the 2017 bull run to $19,800 has added two U.S based cryptocurrency exchanges
  • US Based Bittrex Exchange and Justin Sun owned, Poloniex
  • Bitfinex still claiming they are “false allegations”

According to a recently revised class action lawsuit filing to the U.S. Southern District Court of New York, Bittrex and Poloniex are the recent defendant additions to alleged charges on supposedly manipulating the Bitcoin market using unbacked Tether (USDT) stablecoins back. The plaintiffs claim the Bitfinex Inc. and its affiliated companies caused billions of losses to traders from the manipulation.

The filing claims that if BitFinex, Bittrex, and Tether would not have manipulated the market, the sharp rise is seen at the end of 2017 and the successive year-long bloodshed would not have happened at such proportions. Multiple class lawsuits arose from the case claiming BitFinex Inc. and its ring of exchange affiliates enabled the printing of billions of dollars of USDT and artificial pumping of BTC and the altcoin market.

The lawsuits were merged into one last year and have now revised it to include Poloniex and Bittrex – also allegedly involved in the manipulation of markets. The lawsuit states,

“Bittrex and Poloniex accepted these transfers and knowingly allowed Bitfinex and Tether—as owners of the addresses holding the USDT—to sell the debased USDT for crypto-commodities on their exchanges, driving up the crypto-commodity prices.”

According to the original filing, BitFinex and Tether were accused of printing USDT and using the stablecoins to boost the prices of at least $1 trillion USD in different crypto assets. The NY federal court shut down efforts by BitFinex to dismiss the class-action lawsuit in November and the second lawsuit in the US Court for the Western District of Washington was opened a fortnight later.

Two plaintiffs have been dropped from the case, David Leibowitz and Global Trades Solution AG, both of whom were represented in the original filing. The new filing also includes Matthew Script as a new plaintiff alongside Benjamin Leibowitz, Jason Leibowitz, Aaron Leibowitz, and Pinchas Goldshtein.

BitFinex and Tether Denounces the Lawsuit

BitFinex and its sister company, Tether released a statement on June 4, 2020, claiming the lawsuits filed with the U.S District court are “false allegations”. Stuart Hoegner, General Counsel for Bitfinex said the lawsuit claims causation due to a correlation between the USDT demand growth and BTC price surge. Hoegner further said,

“This meritless lawsuit is an insult to the ingenuity of Tether's customers, as well as the success and innovation of the industry and all who play a role in it.”

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