Paolo Ardoino sees RGB as 'best opportunity' to issue stablecoins on Bitcoin

Quick Take

  • Paolo Ardoino called the RGB protocol the “best opportunity” for issuing stablecoins on Bitcoin.
  • Ardoino said RGB is the “rightful successor” to Omni for Tether’s USDT stablecoin issuance.

The chief technology officer at crypto exchange Bitfinex Paolo Ardoino told The Block in an interview that the RGB protocol represents the “best opportunity” for issuing stablecoins on Bitcoin. Ardoino views RGB as the the “rightful successor” to Omni after Tether USDT + discontinued its use to issue the USDT stablecoin.

“With regard to Omni, we believe RGB actually represents the best opportunity to have a modern, scalable, client-side smart contract system that allows tokens on Bitcoin,” Ardoino said. “Many prominent people in the Bitcoin community are in fact aligned in supporting RGB, and we believe that RGB integrates all the right ingredients to be the rightful successor of Omni.”

RGB is a smart contracts system and off-chain protocol for Bitcoin and the Lightning Network, which allows for the minting and issuing of Bitcoin-based digital assets. It was originally envisioned in 2016 by Bitcoin educator Giacomo Zucco as a "non-blockchain based asset system," utilizing earlier ideas from Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd, according to its website.

Discontinued Omni support

Omni was the first layer that Bitfinex's sister firm, Tether, used in 2014, enabling it to issue stablecoins on the Bitcoin blockchain.

This year, Tether announced it was discontinuing support for Omni in August, alongside Kusama and Bitcoin Cash SLP implementations as usage dwindled compared to increasing demand on Ethereum and Tron — which currently dominate USDT supply.


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Tether has now completely ceased minting USDT on Omni, though users can continue redeeming the tokens or swap them to other chains for several months.

“Unfortunately, Omni suffered from a recent lack of support that impaired its ability to sustainably develop,” Ardoino said.

“Tether is evaluating a timeline for a possible issuance of USDT over RGB,” he added. Tether is an active contributor to RGB and previously said it planned to return to issuing the stablecoin on Bitcoin via RGB.

Developer Lightning Labs also released a similar solution to RGB called Taproot Assets yesterday, initially on Bitcoin, but with Lightning Network support expected to follow.

Ardoino holds positions at both Bitfinex and Tether. Last week, Tether promoted Ardoino to CEO and remains in his position as Bitfinex CTO.

© 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.

About Author

James Hunt is a reporter at The Block, based in the UK. As the writer behind The Daily newsletter, James also keeps you up to speed on the latest crypto news every weekday. Prior to joining The Block in 2022, James spent four years as a freelance writer in the industry, contributing to both publications and crypto project content. James’ coverage spans everything from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Layer 2 scaling solutions, avant-garde DeFi protocols, evolving DAO governance structures, trending NFTs and memecoins, regulatory landscapes, crypto company deals and the immersive metaverse. You can get in touch with James on Twitter or Telegram via @humanjets or email him at [email protected].


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