• The mistake was made during a transition from the Bitcoin-based Omni platform to Tron.
  • The incident occurred while the Poloniex exchange was conducting a USDT chain swap.

The twitter account “Crypto Whale Alert” tweeted that Tether had minted $5b. Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Bitfinex, replied to the tweet stating that it was a mistake that was made while transitioning from the bitcoin-based Omni platform to Tron.

Ardoino said: 

“While preparing the issuance for Omni to Tron swap there have been an issue with the token decimals.”

The Poloniex exchange added to the above statement said:

“This occurred while Poloniex was conducting a USDT chain swap with the help of Tether. An incorrect amount of USDT was accidentally minted, and this has since been resolved to the intended value.”

The accidental minting happened at 17:34 UTC. $500 million of it was burned 4 mins later and then the rest of the $4.5 billion were promptly burned.

Ardoino added:

“Unfortunately we have to play with different toolchains across multiple blochains [sic] and sometimes issues happen. We’re working anyway to prevent this from happening in the future.” 

The crypto community was skeptical since the company has a history of shady dealings and underhanded tactics. Some wondered whether this was indeed an honest mistake or not.

The Twitter handle “XRP Research Center” ‏tweeted:

"Oops. We had an issue, but don't worry. We laundered 50M USD and its fixed now."

This might look exaggerated right now, but there's no reason Bitfinex couldn't do this inversely for money laundering purposes.

“Get real!” tweeted:

“$BTC pumped 3% immediately after Tether printed 5B USDT by accident. If you still had any doubt that bots react to USDT prints.”

“ChainLinkGod” tweeted:

"This is why nobody respects tether or bitfinex."

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