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Big Four Accounting Firms Hesitate to Audit Tether, Citing Reputational Concerns

Key Takeaways

  • Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino commits to securing a Big Four audit for USDT stablecoin reserves to boost investor confidence and enhance auditing standards;
  • The Big Four firms are not willing to audit, possibly due to perceived reputational risks;
  • A reputable audit would be particularly beneficial for Tether, which is facing criticism and scrutiny over reserve transparency.
Big Four Accounting Firms Hesitate to Audit Tether, Citing Reputational Concerns

Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, said the company is committed to securing an audit for its USDT stablecoin reserves from one of the Big Four accounting firms—Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY), or KPMG.  

Yet, Ardoino highlighted that none of them are willing to audit Tether, possibly due to the potential reputational risks perceived by these giants.

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Currently, Tether relies on quarterly attestations by BDO Italia. However, establishing stronger ties with one of the Big Four remains a "top priority" for the company to elevate its auditing standards and enhance investor confidence.

We are trying to make the case.

Despite Tether's significant role in the crypto market, with a market cap surpassing $107.9 billion and ranking as the third-largest cryptocurrency, the firm continually faces scrutiny over the transparency of its treasury reserves.

Recent criticisms from entities like the United Nations, which has flagged USDT as a preferred medium for cybercriminals and money launderers, amplify the urgency for Tether to demonstrate adequate reserve backing through reputable audits.

Additionally, a Big Four audit would be particularly beneficial after US Senator Elizabeth Warren publicly criticized the current audit practices within crypto, saying:

I share your concern that when PCAOB-registered auditors perform “sham audits” – even for entities whose audits generally fall outside of our jurisdiction – there are risks to investors and the PCAOB.

This reflects the issues digital currencies face in gaining acceptance within the traditional financial and regulatory systems.

In addition to addressing the challenges, Tether has recently launched four new business divisions — Tether Data, Tether Finance, Tether Power, and Tether Edu — diversifying its operations beyond stablecoins.

Aaron S., Editor-In-Chief
Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era.
With close to a decade of experience in the FinTech industry, Aaron understands all of the biggest issues and struggles that crypto enthusiasts face. He’s a passionate analyst who is concerned with data-driven and fact-based content, as well as that which speaks to both Web3 natives and industry newcomers.
Aaron is the go-to person for everything and anything related to digital currencies. With a huge passion for blockchain & Web3 education, Aaron strives to transform the space as we know it, and make it more approachable to complete beginners.
Aaron has been quoted by multiple established outlets, and is a published author himself. Even during his free time, he enjoys researching the market trends, and looking for the next supernova.

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