Stablecoin issuer Tether USDT +0.18% promoted its long-time chief technology officer, Paolo Ardoino, to chief executive officer.
Ardoino will take the new role in December, succeeding Jean-Louis van der Velde, who will transition to an advisory role, Tether said Friday. Velde will retain his position as CEO for Bitfinex, a crypto exchange and sister company of Tether. At the same time, Ardoino will continue as CTO for Bitfinex and chief strategy officer for Holepunch, a peer-to-peer applications building platform backed by Bitfinex, Tether and Hypercore.
Ardoino will also continue to oversee Tether's technology department "for the time being," a company spokesperson told The Block.
Ardoino joined Bitfinex in 2014 and Tether in 2017.
Ardoino's promotion comes as Tether envisions becoming "a tech-centric organization, reshaping the future of finance" instead of just being a stablecoin issuer, per a statement. The company aims to be an infrastructure partner in developing "resilient" cities.
"Paolo will begin his tenure by focusing on technological advancements, supporting peer-to-peer projects, and participating in bitcoin mining initiatives," the spokesperson said. "This broader technological and industry advancement strategy may also include collaboration with regulators to establish clearer guidelines and foster greater compliance within the cryptocurrency space."
Tether's focus on P2P, energy and bitcoin mining ventures
Tether has been venturing into new business lines over the past year.
In June 2022, Tether's Holepunch launched a peer-to-peer encrypted video-calling app called Keet. Tether and Bitfinex devoted five years to develop the projects and invested around $10 million to build Holepunch and Keet, Ardoino told The Block at the time, adding that the two companies are open to investing $50 million to $100 million more in the future as they build out more P2P applications.
As for its energy focus, Tether entered the energy production and bitcoin mining space in May of this year in Uruguay in partnership with an unnamed "local licensed company." In June, Tether also backed Max Keiser's startup Volcano Energy, which is building a bitcoin mining farm in El Salvador. Tether has invested in Volcano Energy's first round worth $250 million, Ardoino told The Block at the time. Volcano Energy's ultimate goal at the time was to raise $1 billion to fund the mining operation. In August, Ardoino formally unveiled Tether Energy to build and grow "partnerships around the world with local companies, providing capital, infrastructure support, development and general expertise to build renewable energy production and bitcoin mining sites."
While Tether's USDT stablecoin "will remain the key product and the company is firmly focused on its growth," it has also been expanding its horizons, Ardoino now told The Block. "Tether will soon also announce a new platform that leverages Tether experience in building financial technologies, focusing on real-world assets," he said.
Tether reported a net profit of $850 million in the second quarter, significantly less than the $1.5 billion reported in the previous period. The USDT stablecoin remains the largest in the market, with a supply of nearly $83 billion tokens, according to The Block's Data Dashboard.
© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.