On April 25, 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against iFinex — the parent company of Tether Limited and Bitfinex. On February 17, 2021, iFinex settled the legal dispute with the New York Attorney General's office. iFinex, Bitfinex, and Tether Limited did not admit any wrongdoing and paid $18.5 million to settle the case.
On December 5, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued subpoenas to Bitfinex and Tether Limited concerning the backing of minted $USDT. On October 15, 2021, Tether Limited paid a fine of $41.6 million for inaccurately claiming that minted $USDT were 100% backed by fiat USD when they were 100% backed by a combination of fiat USD and other assets.
In January 2015, the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex enabled trading of Tether ($USDT) on their platform.
The precursor to Tether, originally named "Realcoin," was announced in July 2014 by co-founders Brock Pierce, Reeve Collins, and Craig Sellars as a Santa Monica-based startup. The first tokens were issued on 6 October 2014 on the Bitcoin blockchain. This was done by using the Omni Layer Protocol. On 20 November 2014, Tether CEO Reeve Collins announced the project was renamed "Tether."