Just when Tether’s long-standing legal drama finally found a resolution, the company was hit by an alleged extortion attempt. In the latest development, the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin USDT, claims to have received a ransom note asking for 500 BTC that currently worth about $22 million.
If the company fails to pay the amount, the entities said that they will leak documents to the public in an effort to “harm the bitcoin ecosystem.”
Tether claims that the documents circulating online purporting to be between the company personnel and reps of Deltec Bank & Trust and others bogus.
The documents in question revived the age-old debate of USDT’s backing. It alleged that the stablecoin is, in fact, backed by crypto and not US Dollar.
In a clarification thread, Tether stated that it is unclear whether the latest stunt is a basic extortion scheme like those aimed at other crypto-based firms or individuals seeking to “undermine” the stablecoin issuer and the community as a whole.
“Either way, those seeking to harm Tether are getting increasingly desperate.”
Calling it a “sad attempt at a shakedown”, Tether went on to say that the platform nevertheless takes these threats “seriously”. It also stated,
“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.”
Tether’s meteoric rise
The stablecoin has been one of the controversial tokens to exist. Despite this, it serves a crucial role in the crypto market. It is no surprise that trading has become the major source of demand for USDT.
Over the past year, the stablecoin saw an astonishing rise in tandem to Bitcoin crossing several key hurdles and finally breaching $55K.
With over $35 billion in circulation, Tether is now the fifth-largest token by market cap on the cryptocurrency ladder.