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Tether and Bitfinex: Complying with FOIL Request while Upholding Transparency

Tether and Bitfinex comply with FOIL request

Tether and Bitfinex, in a move signaling their commitment to transparency, have decided not to oppose a FOIL request filed in New York by several media outlets, despite initial resistance. The issuer of the USDT stablecoin and the cryptocurrency exchange emphasize their willingness to share information in a transparent manner, aligning with the request filed earlier this year.

Transparency, but not complete release of documents

Transparency does not mean the bulk publication of all our documents. This approach is not in line with standard business practices.


While accepting the FOIL request, Tether and Bitfinex have expressed reservations regarding the open publication of all documentation. They argue that such an approach contradicts their business practices, emphasizing that ‘transparency does not mean a wholesale release of all our documents.’ The companies have also criticized journalists like Zeke Faux for ‘overstepping the bounds of professional journalism’ and criticized media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg for one-sided reporting.

Context of the FOIL request

The FOIL request pertains to Tether and Bitfinex’s settlement agreement with the New York Attorney General (NYAG) in February 2021, which involved an $18.5 million fine to resolve legal disputes over the alleged commingling of client and company funds. As part of the agreement, the companies were required to submit quarterly transparency reports to the NYAG for two years. CoinDesk’s FOIL request sought public disclosure of materials relating to Tether’s compliance with this agreement.

In June 2023, Tether expressed concerns that opposition to the FOIL request was aimed at protecting client confidential data and sensitive business information, fearing exploitation by malicious actors. The companies now call for a responsible review of the documents before their public release, emphasizing that transparency efforts do not equate to unrestricted public disclosure.

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