Tether: The coin that could ruin crypto


Even by crypto’s often surreal standards, Tether has a peculiar history. The company was founded in 2014 by Brock Pierce, a cryptocurrency evangelist who starred as a child actor in the “Mighty Ducks” movies. He and his partner Reeve Collins later gave control of the company to a former plastic surgeon named Giancarlo Devasini, who kept some of Tether’s assets in a bank in the Bahamas run by one of the creators of the “Inspector Gadget” cartoon becomes.

Tether has grown rapidly. Around 50 billion stablecoins were issued last year, more than tripling global supply. “If we need to cash in to the last penny, we can do that,” Mr. Ardoino said in the interview.

The company is operated by around 50 employees in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Its managing director, JL van der Velde, is a Dutch businessman whose LinkedIn profile suggests he is based in Hong Kong; The company declined to confirm its location. He and Mr. Devasini, the chief operating officer, rarely speak in public. Tether’s public face is Mr. Ardoino, who describes his colleagues as “ordinary people” who are excited about the company’s growth.

“They didn’t initially think it might be that big,” Mr. Ardoino said. “They weren’t ready to be public figures. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

At times, Tether has insisted that its stablecoins are fully backed by US dollars. But last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James called these claims “a lie”.

A few years earlier, a Tether-linked cryptocurrency exchange had lost $850 million in a deal gone awry. To cover the losses, the Bitfinex exchange borrowed from Tether’s reserves, leaving the stablecoin partially unsecured. after Ms. James examination.

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