A vocal crypto-critic says bot army got him suspended by Twitter
07 Feb 2018 - 20:35
Twitter Inc. has suspended an account that’s been one of the loudest critics of digital currency exchange Bitfinex and its related cryptocurrency Tether.
The author, known only as @Bitfinexed, declines to identify himself, saying he’s worried about his safety. Since April, tweets on the account have accused Bitfinex and Tether of wrongdoing. Bloomberg News reported last week that U.S. regulators sent subpoenas to Bitfinex and Tether on Dec. 6.
An army of bots are to blame, the author said in a phone interview Wednesday. The account had more than 400,000 followers, but he’d blocked about 300,000 of them due to constant spam and threats. He said he removed 20 tweets on Tuesday at the request of Twitter, only to be suspended. He’s filed an appeal. Twitter didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
Tether’s coins have become a popular substitute for U.S. dollars on cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, with about $2.2 billion of the tokens outstanding. While Tether has said all of its coins are backed by U.S. dollars held in reserve, the company has yet to provide conclusive evidence of its holdings to the public or have its accounts audited. Skeptics such as @Bitfinexed have questioned whether the money is really there.