Terraform Labs Asks Court To Compel Citadel To Provide Data Relating To UST Depeg

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In a bid to defend itself against the “complex cryptocurrency action” brought against it by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Terraform Labs has once again filed a motion against Citadel Securities, asking the court to compel the market maker to provide certain documents. 

Citadel May Have Caused UST Depeg

In the court filing dated October 10, Terraform Labs, the company that developed the Terra blockchain and supported the UST stablecoin, alleged that UST’s collapse wasn’t caused by any instability in the token’s ecosystem but by the “concerted, intentional effort of certain third party market participants” who shorted and caused the token to de-peg from its dollar price.

One of these “third party market participants,” which Terraform suspects, happens to be Citadel Securities, and that is why the firm has brought this motion asking the court to compel it to produce certain trading data which it believes could be integral in proving its case in the lawsuit instituted against it by the SEC. 

The SEC had accused Terraform and its founder, Do Kwon, of making false representations about UST’s stability. Specifically, the Commission asserted that the defendants misrepresented how well the “mint/burn” design could withstand market forces. UST is an algorithmic stablecoin that maintained its dollar beg by ensuring that supply and demand were always balanced. 

In the court documents, Terraform laid out the basis for its accusation and why the court should issue the subpoenas. According to the company, traders in the crypto markets received information or heard rumors that Citadel’s founder, Ken Griffin, was looking to short UST around the time when the stablecoin collapsed. 

Terraform further referenced a screenshotted chat from a Discord channel that it had accessed following the Depeg, where a particular trader stated that he had lunch with Griffin “about twice a month” and that Griffin had stated that they were going to “Soros the f*** out of luna ust.”

The company urged the court to grant its motion and compel Citadel to provide this trading data as its defense could be “substantially impaired” if the latter were successful in withholding this limited information. 

Terra USTC  price chart from Tradingview.com (Terraform Labs)

USTC trading well below dollar peg | Source: USTC/BUSD on Tradingview.com

Possible Transfer Of Motion

Meanwhile, Terraform Labs asked that the court transfer the motion to the Southern District of New York (SDNY) instead of ruling on it. The firm noted that the underlying action (the SEC’s case against it) was already ongoing in the SDNY and being overseen by Judge Rakoff. As such, it might be proper to make this decision for Judge Rakoff to manage the case properly. 

Stakeholders in the crypto industry are actively monitoring the SEC’s case against Terraform Labs and its founder, Do Kwon, especially considering that Judge Rakoff had examined the possibility of Terra’s two coins, LUNA and TerraUSD, being securities. 

Featured image from Business Today, chart from Tradingview.com

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