Major stablecoin issuer Tether has partnered with Bahamas-based Britannia Bank & Trust to process dollar transfers, according to a report from Bloomberg this week citing ‘people familiar with the matter’.
While it is unknown when exactly the arrangements were put in place, it is believed that Tether has been instructing clients to send money via Britannia for the past few months.
The crypto industry has struggled to find U.S. banking partners since the closure of three major crypto-linked institutions back in March. Prior to this, some Tether clients in the U.S. were able to make dollar payments via Signature Bank to fellow Bahamas-based partner, Capital Union Bank.
In addition to Britannia and Capital Union, Tether is partnered with a third financial institution in the Bahamas, Deltec Bank.
Fun fact: Chalopin and Tether CFO Giancarlo Devasini reportedly own residential properties next door to each other.
Britannia Bank & Trust parent company, Britannia Financial Group, has been on the acquisitions trail of late, including the April 2022 purchase of proprietary crypto trading firm, Alphaplate. Britannia Financial Group CEO, Mark Bruce, explained at the time that crypto was an “increasingly important asset class” for many of its clients.
Britannia Financial Group and Tether also used to share an auditor in Belgian firm, BDO. That changed when Britannia’s founding chairman, Julio Herrera, was charged in August 2022 with trying to bribe the governor of Puerto Rico.
Herrera (and his son) stepped down from the group following the accusation, although Herrera pleaded not guilty and is currently awaiting trial. It has not been explained why the bribery charges led to a change in auditor for Herrera’s former company.
Tether's market cap has increased by around 25% since the start of the year, currently sitting at almost $83 billion. The stablecoin issuer published its latest reserves report earlier this month, although many argue that this is still somewhat lacking in transparency.