Bitfinex are having quite a week, to put it mildly. You wouldn’t know as much by monitoring their social channels though: there’s not a word about that unfortunate $30 million Tether hack; just a tweet noting how pleased they are to announce BTC:EUR trading. On the surface, it’s business as usual at “the world’s largest and most advanced bitcoin trading platform”. Step outside the Bitfinex bubble, however, and things are anything but rosy.
Untethered, Goxxed, and Bitfinexed
Where to start with Bitfinex? Questions surrounding the company’s secrecy, lack of proper banking facilities, and odd relationship with Tether have abounded for months, but lately those murmurs have grown into a crescendo, prompting the exchange to break its silence, tweeting:
Days later and that promised statement has failed to materialize. In fairness to ‘finex, they’ve had a lot on, what with the alleged loss of $30 million in USDT, prompting Tether to issue a hard fork to isolate the stolen funds. (Intriguingly, it appears the Tether hacker also made off with 19,000 BTC from Bitstamp in 2015 and another 8,500 from Huobi the same year. Presumably they forgot to hodl, hence their emergence, two years later, to re-up. UPDATE: Huobi have since said they weren’t hacked, although the individual did withdraw 12,000 BTC from their exchange.)
Biftfinex’ shortage of proper banking facilities and increasing reliance on tethers – tokens pegged against the US dollar – is well-documented, and has been the subject of relentless investigation by one dogged individual. Bitfinexed, who has been a thorn in the side of the exchange, has even been using a voice changer during interviews, such is his desire to remain anonymous…