Tether CEO van der Velde quits, Paolo Ardoino takes over

abdelaziz Fathi

Tether, the issuer behind the industry’s largest stablecoin USDT, has announced the promotion of its Chief Technology Officer, Paolo Ardoino, to the position of CEO. Ardoino will succeed the long-standing and notably discreet CEO, Jean-Louis van der Velde.

Paolo Ardoino

The announcement made on Friday highlighted that Ardoino’s new role will be effective from December 2023. Van der Velde, meanwhile, will transition to an advisory role within Tether. However, he will retain his CEO position at Bitfinex, a crypto exchange that shares close ties with Tether, both being overseen by the Hong Kong-based parent firm, Ifinex.

Despite this new responsibility, Ardoino will maintain his role as Tether’s CTO. Additionally, he will continue in his role as Chief Strategy Officer for Holepunch, a P2P communications network developed collaboratively by Tether, Bitfinex, and the infrastructure platform, Hypercore.

Ardoino’s journey in the cryptocurrency realm began in 2014 with Bitfinex and later, in 2017, he assumed the role of CTO at Tether. His predecessor, van der Velde, has remained largely out of the public eye throughout his tenure, leading to some critiques about Tether’s transparency. This reticence was seen by many as symbolic of the company’s overall lack of openness.

Contrastingly, Ardoino has often acted as the public face of Tether, frequently engaging with the media and participating in podcasts, often stepping up to address concerns and criticisms directed at Tether and its USDT token. This leadership change is seen by many as a step towards greater transparency and more open communication from the company.

“Paolo is extremely well-suited to lead Tether into this exciting new era,” said Jean-Louis van der Velde. “I believe Tether is poised to continue its rapid growth, with a continued focus on emerging markets and transformative technology. I think I can speak for the entire company when I say that we eagerly anticipate Paolo’s leadership as he guides Tether toward a future where finance knows no bounds.”

Per its latest audit report, Tether holds assets totaling $86.1 billion, and its liabilities stand at $82.8 billion, indicating a reserve backing of over 100%. The stablecoin issuer also maintains a $3.3 billion liquidity buffer to ensure stability within the USDT ecosystem and cements trust among stakeholders.

Tether had a stellar performance in the second quarter of 2023, with operational profits reaching $1 billion from April to June, a substantial 30% increase compared to the previous quarter. The surge was partly driven by the appreciation of Bitcoin price, which hovered around the $30,000 mark in the quarter.

According to Tether’s recent reserves report, the company holds a surplus in shareholder capital cushion of $3.29 billion across 15 different blockchain ecosystems. With the exception of Algorand and Polygon, Tether has the authorization to issue USDT tokens in large quantities.

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