Now serving as the Chief Technology Officer of Tether, the issuer of the world’s most prominent stablecoin ($USDT), Paolo Ardoino, has always been destined to fill this role from his earliest interaction with computers.
He recounts that he quickly became obsessed with hardware, networks, and cryptography in his early years. In a chat with Technext, Paolo narrates this journey and outlines why $USDT remains infallible among all other stablecoins.
He joined Bitfinex as a Senior Software Developer in 2014, tasked with trading engine development, platform scalability, and high availability. Later in 2016, Paolo Ardoino transitioned to the role of CTO, where he acquired a strong portfolio of different programming languages and developed a genuine passion for distributed systems, high-performance computing, and cloud platforms.
Tether as a leading stablecoin
Stablecoins have become a viable medium of exchange for e-commerce. They have proven to be a resource for businesses looking for a more economical and efficient way for payments to be made among buyers and sellers.
In this regard, Tether’s $USDT has grown massively into the most prominent stablecoin, with the largest market cap and an important alternative form of payment. According to its CTO, Paolo Ardoino:
“Tether is fully backed by its reserves which include cash, cash equivalents, and other short-term deposits like other stablecoins in this category. Regardless of all that has been said in the news, Tether has withstood multiple black swan events in crypto and has never refused redemption in its history. Tether remains committed to leading not only in innovative technology but also in transparency and accountability to its customers.”
Those who have been in the crypto space for a while can attest that the defunct Terra’s $UST was being used for $USDT’s purpose this time last year. Also, around a month ago, the SEC ordered Paxos, the issuer of Binance’s stablecoin $BUSD, to stop operations. The development led to a massive transfer of funds from $BUSD to $USDT.
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Now, there are debates about whether that tension could affect Tether in any manner or if the company could have issues like the one Binance is facing soon.
On this topic, Paolo Ardoino says:
This stress-testing of Tether is not hypothetical. In March 2020, bitcoin dropped by half in a couple of days. Just two months ago, we had one of the worst days in bitcoin’s history, with prices falling by 30% in a few days in May. During those events, the Tether peg remained solid, all redemptions were honoured, and even the price on exchanges remained stable. Tether has been stress-tested multiple times and passed with flying colours. Tether leads the industry in both transparency and security, never wavering and providing a safe haven for all.” – Paolo Ardoino.
Additionally, there are recurrent reports that Tether is not being plain with its reserves. In defense, Paolo says Tether has indicated in its published statements and its most recent assurance attestation with a reporting date of February 9th, 2023, the accuracy of Tether’s Consolidated Reserves Report (CRR), which breaks down the assets held by the Group as of December 31, 2022.
According to him, the CRR shows that, in addition to reducing its secured loans as committed, Tether ended 2022 with zero commercial paper and at least $67 billion in consolidated total assets and excess reserves of at least $960 million.
“Tether’s reserves remain extremely liquid, with the majority of its investments being held in cash, cash equivalents, and other short-term deposits. This latest report demonstrates its commitment to transparency and highlights a $300 million reduction in secured loans, more than $700 million net profit added to Tether reserves in the last quarter of 2022, and the highest percentage to date of assets allocated in US Treasury Bills, with direct exposure of over 58%.
Moreover, Tether maintains cash that is many multiples of its largest single historical redemption and its largest 24-hour period of redemptions.” – Paolo Ardoino.
You can read more about Tether’s reserves here .
Tether’s plans for Africa
Paolo Ardoino says Tether is focused on being a catalyst for the freedom of communications, freedom of money, and equality in access in Africa and the cryptocurrency space at large.
“Web3 needs Africa and not the other way around”- Mouloukou Sanoh, CEO of Cassava Network, discusses Blockchain on the continent
He reiterates that the company will continue emphasising these messages by bringing digital dollars to the real world.
“Unlike many of Tether’s competitors, our focus is not on the United States or Wall Street, but on emerging markets around the world like in Africa. The United States is fortunate to have a highly developed financial infrastructure and the world’s premier currency, the U.S. Dollar.
Emerging markets, on the other hand, often struggle with limited financial infrastructure, unstable currencies, and limited access to the Dollar. Tether’s focus on emerging markets has been a key part of the Tether story and expands operations beyond a single main country. Tether will continue to fight for financial freedom and support projects and organisations which advance global freedom and financial inclusion in the emerging markets, like those found in Africa.” – Paolo Ardoino.
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