Tether and Bitfinex Adopt a Transparent Approach to FOIL Request
- Tether and Bitfinex claimed that releasing the documents could jeopardize their competitive advantage and investment strategy.
- CoinDesk claimed releasing the documents was in the public interest.
Stablecoin issuer Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex have withdrawn their objection to a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request filed by CoinDesk and other prominent news outlets. Both companies said the decision was part of their plans to embrace transparency.
However, Tether and Bitifinex said that they would not be publicly disclosing any documents, citing the approach as inconsistent with their business practices, noting that “transparency does not mean a wholesale release of all our documents.”
The companies stated in a statement on Friday that while they will not file an appeal in response to some journalists’ FOIL requests, they are still “open to constructive engagement with journalists and regulatory authorities who adhere to ethical reporting standards and respect data privacy boundaries.”
Tether tried to block CoinDesk’s FOIL request for information about its reserves. In June 2021, CoinDesk requested documents generated during the New York Attorney General’s investigations into claims that Tether’s USDT was not adequately backed by reserves from mid-2019 to early 2021.
CoinDesk, in its FOIL request, sought records about Tether’s reserves, claiming the release of these documents was in the interest of the public. However, Tether filed a request with the New York Supreme Court to prevent these documents from being made public.
The company argued that releasing these documents could jeopardize its competitive advantage, affect its relationship with its partners, and reveal its investment strategy. A New York judge, however, rejected Tether’s appeal.
Tether also accused some media outfits of being “one-sided and inaccurate,” citing The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, whose journalists are taking part in the current FOIL request. Some of the prominent journalists who put forward the FOIL request include Zeke Faux, Shane Shifflett, and Ada Hui. Interestingly, Tether slammed the journalists for exhibiting unprofessional behavior.
Both companies claimed that Faux’s previous reports on Bitfinex and Tether “extended beyond the boundaries of professional journalism.” Additionally, Tether and Bitfinex clarified that their transparency initiatives do not “equate to unrestricted public disclosure of all documents.” Furthermore, both companies demanded “responsible document review” from the parties involved.