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CTO Paolo Ardoino (exclusive interview)

                                                            Der führende Stablecoin nach Marktkapitalisierung – unterstützt durch Reserven an Bargeld und Geldmarkt-Bargeldäquivalenten – USDT hat zum Zeitpunkt der Erstellung dieses Artikels eine Marktkapitalisierung von etwa 83 Milliarden US-Dollar.

Paolo Ardoino is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Bitfinex and its stablecoin Tether (USDT). Paolo is a well-known full-stack programmer with deep experience in the financial sector (FIX protocol, BloombergAPI), he describes himself as an innovative computer scientist and creative geek. He has been with Bitfinx for almost eight years.

He’s also a gregarious and vocal supporter of the stablecoin project online, not shying away from raising questions and criticism on Twitter.

During the Paris Blockchain Week conference in April this year CryptoPotato caught up with Ardoino and discussed the future of stablecoins and developments with USDT, its parent company Tether and cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.
Paulo Ardonino. Finyear

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Turkey, Venezuela, Dubai and Brazil: Someone will accept USDT

Ardoino revealed that they plan to do what they do and provide a “tool for the people”. The CTO said they don’t plan DeFi or to attack banks or even institutions:

“Our success is based on the commitment of people. You go to Turkey, you go to Venezuela, you go to Argentina, Brazil, Latin America, India – anywhere, including Dubai, you can find someone who will exchange or accept USDT.”

He mentioned this as proof that Tether is a useful product. No marketing was required to gain acceptance from the cryptocurrency industry and its client users. The company is not planning any major changes in response to the new list of stablecoin competitors in this space.

“With Tether, we want to do what we do. That means really being an instrument for the people. We are not really involved in DeFi. You can see that DeFi is really for other stablecoins. We’re not really trying to target banks. We’re not really trying to target Wall Street.”

Tether (USDT) has no eye on Wall Street

Noting the situation of the unbanked and those with volatile and/or rapidly depreciating national fiat currencies, Ardoino says that the overall addressable market of tether the 2 billion unbanked people of the world who do not trust or cannot afford to use fiat reserve bank accounts in their countries.

He cited Turkey as a prime example of a tether use case in recent months. He told us it’s not just hypothetical, “(Turkish lira) has lost 50% of its value in just the last six months or so – it’s just crazy.” Turks have flocked in their wake after their recent currency collapse Bitcoin (BTC) and facing USDT.

Ardoino said that this mission focus, rather than chasing quarterly earnings for Wall Street, is the reason Bitfinix and Tether will not have an IPO:

“I am proud that Tether has no plans to go public. We want to keep doing what we’re doing and help our audience, that is, people who are less fortunate. And I think that’s what Bitcoin is teaching us.”

It’s all fun and games under $10 billion

But even at 50% more than the second largest stablecoin competitor in terms of circulating supply, many new projects are emerging and entering an increasingly competitive stablecoin sector.

He believes that while there is a lot of competition, the real challenge begins once the market capitalization of the cryptocurrency reached $10 or $15 billion.

“In any case, there are many new stablecoins on the market. I would say to a person who would start issuing their own stablecoin – it’s all fun and games until you get just under $10 billion, $15 billion. But then – it gets harder and harder. So what really matters is the liquidity and stability of the stablecoin.”

He also reiterated that Tether hasn’t spent a penny marketing its stablecoin – USDT. Discussing the growing interest in algorithmic stablecoins, he said liquidations could become a big problem.

“…Imagine you are an $80 billion stablecoin – backed by crypto – with a 50% or 60% downside probability. When it comes to liquidations, stability is really tough. If you have a $40 billion liquidation, that’s a country-sized liquidation. So it’s not like we necessarily want to be backed by traditional assets.”

He also mentioned that it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if Tether was the second or third largest by market cap stablecoin will as long as the industry moves forward.

CTO Paolo Ardoino (exclusive interview), Crypto Trading News

The infamous Bitfinex hack and how Bitfinex recovered

During the cryptocurrency bull market of 2017, there were many crypto exchanges that no longer exist today. Bitfinex is one that has managed to stand the test of time despite falling victim to one of the biggest hacks in the industry. Here’s a bit about Bitfinex’s secret ingredient for staying power:

“We’ve been really transparent, even though some people said otherwise. But when we got hacked, we onboarded more than 300 shareholders.

I think the story of our recovery is really beautiful. After we got hacked, it took me 7 days to get the platform back. I had to install old servers in a new environment. As I did so, the team developed a recovery plan. And if you think about it, that recovery plan was the first real innovation.”

It is worth mentioning that this is exactly when Paolo Ardoino became CTO of Bitfinex.

The crypto exchange’s approach to this first major test of its mettle was not the easy way out that a financial sector company would take first. It underscores the ethos of software development that makes the cryptocurrency industry so strong.

“Typically, companies that are in trouble borrow from traditional finance – use financial services to try to recover and get back on their feet. We took a different approach. We asked our users for help and clearly stated what happened. And then we made them realize in a really confident way that if they trusted us again, we wouldn’t betray that trust again. And we would make Bitfinex one of the best exchanges in the world again.”

Bitfinex continued to issue new tokens to its users to raise funds and allow them to benefit from providing liquidity for a bargain to a company in crisis rather than leaving it to the banks.

The exchange issued BFX tokens for this purpose and to return funds to users who had funds stolen from their accounts. Users could run with the tokens by selling them on exchanges, waiting for a full dollar-to-dollar redemption, or pulling them with Bitfinex and converting them into equity.

In the first month after BFX was issued in 2016, the exchange had generated $1 million in revenue from its operations and started to buy back the tokens.

By 2017, 100% of BFX had been redeemed, making good on the exchange’s word. “People realized,” Ardoino said, “these guys are going to make it.”

Arrest of Those Responsible: A relief for everyone at Bitfinex

However, in early 2022, authorities finally managed to arrest the suspected criminals. The story blew up so much that streaming giant Netflix decided to make a documentary about the Bitfinex heist.

The US Department of Justice has arrested Ilya Lichtenstein (34) and Heather Morgan (31). Ardoino recalled the night they were arrested and revealed it was indeed a relief:

“We never lost hope. We knew about the progress, but of course we didn’t know who the perpetrators were. The night it came out – I spent the whole time watching videos because I couldn’t really stop. It was…well, it was definitely a relief, not just for me, but for the entire team that was back there.”

The physical interview was conducted by George Georgiev, EiC.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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