Tether has reportedly refused to pay the 500 BTC ransom demand amid threats of a data leak.
In its latest tweet, the blockchain and cryptocurrency organization Tether revealed that it had received a ransom note in which unknown threat actors have asked for 500 Bitcoin, which is worth approx. $24 million.
The company noted that threat actors have threatened to leak documents that may affect the “Bitcoin ecosystem” if their demand is not fulfilled. The documents allegedly show dubious communication between Tether, the Bahamas-based Deltec Bank & Trust, and several other third parties. However, the company claims these are forged documents.
Tether Refuses to Pay
According to the crypto organization, the payment deadline is 1 March, but it has decided not to pay the ransom.
“We are not paying,” the company stated categorically.
The wallet address linked with the demand currently has $72 in BTC.
Tether wrote that people are getting desperate to cause harm to the company in particular and the crypto community as a whole.
However, they are not paying heed to their demands. It is currently unclear if this is an extortion scheme or people want to undermine Tether specifically.
While we believe this is a pretty sad attempt at a shakedown, we take it seriously. We have reported the forged communications and the associated ransom demand to law enforcement. As always, we will fully support law enforcement in an investigation of this extortion scheme. 5/5
— Tether (@Tether_to) February 28, 2021
Leaks are intended to Discredit Crypto- Tether CTO.
The unverified email screenshots circulating the web seem to be related to Deltec Bank, which already shares a banking relationship with the crypto giant. The communication shows discussion over asset backing.
They confirm 1) being backed with crypto and 2) they try to fool regulators about that fact (2/7) pic.twitter.com/DhjTXq81x6
— RiskIndemnity 🌷⏳ (@RiskIndemnity) February 28, 2021
In another tweet, Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino wrote that the objective behind this malicious act is to “discredit #bitcoin and all #crypto.”
The company revealed that it is taking this “pretty sad attempt at a shakedown” very seriously and has informed the law enforcement about the bogus communications as well as the ransom demand.
However, the company is unaware of the people who are making the ransom demand and also said that it could not provide a copy of the ransom note at the moment. Still, it vows to cooperate with law enforcement.
“As always, we will fully support law enforcement in an investigation of this extortion scheme.”