Paolo Ardoino talks Holepunch and the future of P2P tech

The Block | Provided by Tether

Episode 82 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block's Frank Chaparro and Bitfinex CTO and Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino.

Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on AppleSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to [email protected]

Last time Paolo Ardoino came on The Scoop podcast back in 2019, the USDT stablecoin had a market cap of less than $5 billion.

Today, that number has risen to more than $66 billion, according to data from The Block's Data Dashboard.

While Ardoino serves as both the CTO of Tether (the issuing company behind USDT), as well as CTO of the crypto exchange Bitfinex, recently he has been focusing much of his attention on developing Holepunch — a fully encrypted platform for peer-to-peer applications.

In this episode of The Scoop, Paolo Ardoino shares his vision for the future of peer-to-peer technology, which he believes is in line with "the original ethos of the World Wide Web."

According to Ardoino, we already possess the hardware necessary to facilitate peer-to-peer data transfer in a more efficient way than existing centralized platforms allow:

"The biggest lie ever is that our hardware, our devices, our iPods, phones don't have the capacity to do great things — actually, they are much more powerful than what we think."

While our devices may be powerful, Ardoino suggests that having to route data through centralized servers creates unnecessary latency which limits performance:

"I'm talking to you, I'm calling you, and there is no reason why my signal — all my data — should pass through a centralized server. There is today, in 2022, no need for that."

The first app to be deployed on the Holepunch peer-to-peer technology is a video calling service named Keet. Whereas centralized video streaming platforms are forced to compress data to facilitate global demand, the direct peer-to-peer connection provided by Holepunch allows Keet to facilitate much higher quality video connections.

According to Ardoino,

"You have to take a shower before using Keet because we get 4K video from you, and it's not compressed."

During this episode, Chaparro and Ardoino also discuss:

  • How Tether is reducing commercial paper holdings
  • What healthy 'maximalism' looks like
  • Why issuing tokens for projects is not always the optimal strategy

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Tron, Chainalysis & IWC Schaffhausen

About Tron
On August 1st, 2022, Poloniex launched a faster and more stable trading system along with a
brand new user interface. Poloniex was founded in January 2014 as a global cryptocurrency trading platform. With its world-class service and security, it received funding in 2019 from renowned investors, including H.E. Justin Sun, Founder of TRON. Poloniex supports spot and margin trading as well as leveraged tokens. Its services are available to users in nearly 100 countries and regions with various languages available. For more information visit

About Chainalysis
Chainalysis is the leading blockchain data platform. We provide data, software, services, and research to government agencies, exchanges, financial institutions, and insurance and cybersecurity companies in over 60 countries. Backed by Accel, Addition, Benchmark, Coatue, Paradigm, Ribbit, and other leading firms in venture capital, Chainalysis builds trust in blockchains to promote more financial freedom with less risk. For more information, visit

About IWC Schaffhausen
IWC Schaffhausen is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Known for its unique engineering approach to watchmaking, IWC combines the best of human craftsmanship and creativity with cutting-edge technology and processes. With collections like the Portugieser and the Pilot’s Watches, the brand covers the whole spectrum from elegant timepieces to sports watches. For more information, visit

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