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EXCLUSIVE: Torossian’s 5W no longer working with Bitfinex or Tether

More bad news for the troubled cryptocurrency exchange and the token

lipstick pig

You CAN put lipstick on a pig—only it will look bad (via Wikicommons)

Controversial exchange Bitfinex and its related token, Tether, have one more problem on their hands—they no longer have superstar publicist Ronn Torossian to make them look good. That’s because his 5W firm no longer reps them.

This comes as rumors swirl around 400 million seized by Polish authorities that are alleged to be tied to Bitfinex. As reported on CoinTelegraph Saturday, the funds, held in Poland’s Cooperative Bank, linked the crypto exchange to a Colombian drug cartel.

Tether WatchThe original story that first broke on Poland’s TVP.info said, “the money was on the accounts of two companies from around Pruszków, which were owned by a Canadian-born Panamanian and a Colombian with Panamanian citizenship. One of these companies was a shareholder of an online cryptocurrency exchange office.”

That exchange was likely Bitfinex, said CoinTelegraph.

Modern Consensus reached out to 5W Saturday night to get a comment on the story but we received a quick response: “We are no longer working with them.”

5W has yet to respond to our inquiry as to whether they or Bitfinex severed ties and when it occurred.

This isn’t the first time Bitfinex/Tether lost a professional relationship. A year ago, they lost their banking relationship with Wells Fargo. It has been accused as the impetus for over $2 billion worth of tether issuances over the following several months. In January, they also cut ties (or had ties cut) with their auditor, Friedman LLP.

As their public relations mastermind, Torossian went to bat hard for Bitfinex/Tether. In December, he wrote an apologia for them on Medium that included a scathing attack on their fiercest online critic, an anonymous blogger who goes by the handle Bitfinex’ed on Twitter and Medium. Less than a week later, however, the Commodity Futures Exchange Commission (CFTC) subpoenaed Bitfinex and Tether.

Torossian’s 5W has an impressive roster of clients, including Unilever and Walgreens. Losing a troubled client won’t hurt business all that much. The same can’t be said for Bitfinex or Tether.

UPDATE: As of Monday, 3:39 p.m., Bitfinex still listed Torossian as their public relations contact even though user “kethfinex”, redditor of the Bitfinex subreddit, claimed, “we have chosen a different agency that we have more experience with, and which is more in line with the vision we have for Bitfinex.”

One assumes they were just too busy to change the page. Check back for more updates:

Lawrence Lewitinn, CFA is editor in chief of Modern Consensus. Disclosure: Lewitinn owns no cryptocurrencies in his portfolio.