Tether CEO clashes with Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse over US regulatory comments

abdelaziz Fathi

Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino has publicly responded to Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s comments regarding potential U.S. government actions against Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin issuer.

Garlinghouse recently suggested on a podcast that the U.S. government is targeting Tether, sparking concerns of a looming regulatory crackdown.

Ardoino criticized Garlinghouse on X for spreading “fear about USDT” and called his remarks hypocritical, especially since Ripple itself is currently under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He pointed out that Ripple is also planning to launch its own stablecoin in 2024, which could compete with Tether’s USDT.

In his defense of Tether, Ardoino highlighted USDT’s robust market presence, noting its widespread use across the globe and its particular impact in banking users in developing economies. He stated, “USDT proved over time to have strong price stability, highly liquid reserves, top tier custodians and profound compliance.”

Ardoino also explained Tether’s proactive cooperation with global law enforcement, contrasting it with other stablecoins which he claims only respond to judicial orders. According to Ardoino, Tether has collaborated with 124 law enforcement agencies from over 40 countries and has blocked more than $1.3 billion linked to scams, hacks, and money laundering activities. Additionally, more than $639 million was blocked in coordination with U.S. law enforcement alone.

Tether CEO also shared that in 2023 alone, the stablecoin issuer complied voluntarily with 198 requests from law enforcement to block wallets, including 90 requests from U.S. agencies. Over the last three years, the company responded to 339 such requests, with 158 coming from the U.S.

Garlinghouse’s comments were interpreted as a strategic move ahead of Ripple’s planned stablecoin launch. Earlier in April, the blockchain firm Ripple announced its own foray into the $150 billion stablecoin market by launching a digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar.

XRP-sister stablecoin will maintain a 1-to-1 backing with a corresponding value of U.S. dollar deposits, government bonds, and cash equivalents that Ripple has in reserve. The company committed to transparency by issuing monthly attestation reports on its reserves, although it has not disclosed the auditing firm involved.

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