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TrueUSD: Who Do You Trust?

We look at the history of stablecoin TrueUSD (TUSD) and questions about its offshore retreat and connections to TRON and Techteryx.

Photo by GR Stocks / Unsplash

The US-based long-time operator of the TrueUSD (TUSD) stablecoin announced that all operations were transferred offshore effective July 14, 2023. And on the same date a co-founder of the True family of stablecoins filed an accusation-laden lawsuit claiming a range of frauds and that management actively hid the identity of the product's owners.

This ends a long-running saga which began in late 2020 when the TrueUSD team announced they were bought by an "Asia-based consortium" known as Techteryx. Almost immediately questions were asked and there is still no clear public statement as to who owns and controls Techteryx.

The TrueUSD was launched in 2018 and for years operated as a US-based fiat-backed stablecoin that everyone generally considered had proper reserves management. Their website provided "real-time attestations" showing token quantities per-blockchain and corresponding bank account balances. Uniquely for a stablecoin they not only told the world which banks they used and how much money they had in total – they disclosed on the website exactly what their balance was at each bank.

But the transparency of TrueUSD's reserves has slowly deteriorated over the past few months. At the same time there have long been rumours that Techteryx was merely a front for other actors. Data showed that Justin Sun was a large user of the product particularly after the Techteryx acquisition. And more recently information has come to light that shows more connections among TRON-associated parties and allegations parts of management knew the details but concealed them.

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