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Stablecoin giant Tether has appointed the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Paolo Ardoino as CEO, assuming the role formerly held by Jean-Louis van der Velde (JL).
Ardoino will formally assume his leadership role beginning in December while continuing to operate as CTO. He also remains CTO of crypto exchange Bitfinex, and Chief Strategy Officer of Holepunch, an app development platform.
Meanwhile, van der Velde will continue to act as an advisor while retaining his role as CEO of crypto exchange Bitfinex, where he’s steered the helm since 2013.
“Paolo is extremely well-suited to lead Tether into this exciting new era,” said van der Velde in a press release from Tether. “I believe Tether is poised to continue its rapid growth, with a continued focus on emerging markets and transformative technology.”
Tether is the world’s largest issuer of “stablecoins” – crypto tokens backed by relatively price-stable assets like precious metals or fiat currency. Its most popular stablecoin backed by US dollars, USDT, has a market cap of over $83 billion, and is backed by even greater-sized reserves, per the company’s reports.
Boasting north of 200,000 followers on X (Twitter), Ardoino has for years acted as a public face for Tether, attending conferences and issuing public statements on the company’s behalf.
“One of his most notable achievements was co-leading the strategy that led to the substantial growth of Tether's market presence and market capitalization,” wrote Tether.
He’s also the author of many bitterly written press releases meant to dispel so-called “FUD” from news outlets. He regularly spars with Twitter users, like a former SEC attorney, who took issue with Tether over its reserves. In many regards, Ardoino has been the face of the stablecoin issuer for years.
Though questions about the transparency and safety of the company’s reserve composition have persisted, USDT has yet to lose its dollar peg for a sustained time period since launching in 2014.
But analysts did note there was a recent “slight depeg” for most of August. And after algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) collapsed in May 2022, Ardoino challenged scared investors, saying “let them come.” Then, as USDT faced billions of dollars in redemptions, it briefly pushed the stablecoin’s price to $0.95.