“Ignorance is the parent of fear.”— Herman Melville, Moby Dick
In July 2019, John M. Griffin and Amin Shams, academics from the University of Texas and the University of Ohio, respectively, published the cleverly titled report “Is Bitcoin Really Un-Tethered?”
Their “findings” echoed through mainstream and cryptocurrency media alike. The duo boldly claimed that bitcoin’s 2017 price rise was fueled by unbacked USDT; in essence, their argument goes, Bitfinex/Tether issued the stablecoin without having any dollars in the bank to back them up, meaning bitcoin’s price rose on little more than hot air.
“By mapping the blockchains of Bitcoin and Tether, we are able to establish that one large player on Bitfinex uses Tether to purchase large amounts of Bitcoin when prices are falling and following the printing of Tether,” the study reads.
As could be expected, as mainstream media outlets jumped on the findings, many voices inside the Bitcoin sphere have decried the report as insular and its methodology as flawed.
Behold the White Whale
“Some of the paper’s claims seem unwarranted,” he argued in his analysis, drawing the conclusion that the paper — which was