Paolo Ardoino to Testify in Market Manipulation Lawsuit

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  • Paolo Ardoino, Bitfinex and Tether’s CTO, will testify in an ongoing class-action lawsuit against both companies next week
  • The class-action lawsuit alleges that Bitfinex and Tether engaged in market manipulation and defrauded investors, seeking $1.5 trillion in damages.
  • Ardoino’s deposition has been delayed due to discussions over the scope of the topics to be discussed

Bitfinex and Tether’s Chief Technical Officer, Paolo Ardoino, is set to be deposed this week in an ongoing class-action lawsuit against both companies and their associated individuals. Ardoino’s testimony has been sought for some time and his legal team requested a delay until early October, citing challenges in defining the scope of the topics to be covered, but the judge in the case ruled yesterday that the delay would not be sanctioned and Ardoino must give his deposition as requested.

Class Actions Claims $1.5 Billion in Damages

The class action lawsuit against Tether and Bitfinex was filed in 2019 and alleges that the two companies conspired to concoct “a sophisticated scheme” of Bitcoin price manipulation which it utilized to “defraud investors, manipulate markets, and conceal illicit proceeds”.

In 2017 and 2018, Tether printed $2.8 billion USDT which, the lawsuit alleges, “artificially inflated demand for cryptocurrencies and caused prices to spike”, a situation that plaintiffs say wrought an “unprecedented” amount of harm. The financial liability the suit places at the door of Tether and Bitfinex is an astonishing $1.5 trillion.

Tether has consistently denied these allegations, even posting a statement to this effect on its website before the lawsuit was filed in 2019.

Scope of Topics at the Heart of Recent Dispute

The recent dispute between both sides has primarily revolved around the scope of topics that could be discussed during Ardoino’s deposition. This includes concerns about trading records provided by the two defendants, their lending policies, and specific wallets holding reserves for USDT.

However, Judge Katherine Polk Failla emphasized the importance of these topics, which are central to the lawsuit’s allegation, and said that Ardoino should answer any questions put to him on this matter. She also expressed concerns about the lawsuit’s progress and urged both sides to be adequately prepared for Ardoino’s deposition.

Claims over Tether’s manipulation of the markets during the 2017 bull run has been a topic of debate ever since, and the outcome of this court case will be telling in the perception of these allegations.