Tether, one of the crypto world’s top tokens, announced a surprise management shake-up on Friday. Paolo Ardoino, the chief technology officer of the crypto firm, will also become its CEO from December, replacing Jean-Louis van der Velde, who will transition to an advisory role.
Tether is the issuer of a stablecoin, also called Tether, which is designed to maintain a constant value of $1 and is widely used in crypto-to-crypto trading. There is $83.5 billion worth of Tether in circulation, making it the third-biggest cryptocurrency after bitcoin and ether, according to CoinGecko.
Ardoino joined Tether as CTO in 2017 and has been the public face of the company, posting regularly on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, and speaking to journalists. He has a background in computer science, cryptography and finance-related applications.
Van der Velde, on the other hand, has kept a low public profile and little is known about him. He said in a statement that Ardoino was “extremely well-suited to lead Tether into this exciting new era.
Tether has faced scrutiny and controversy over its claim that its peg is maintained by its holdings of dollar-based assets, including U.S. Treasuries. As part of a 2021 settlement with the New York Attorney General’s office, Tether agreed to provide quarterly reports on its reserves for two years. Tether said on its website that it completed this requirement earlier this year.
U.S. regulators have warned banks that stablecoin reserves could be subject to rapid outflows, for example if holders rushed to exchange such tokens back into traditional currency.
Tether’s statement did not say where Ardoino and van der Velde are based, where Tether is based or how many employees it has.