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Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino Responds to Ripple CEO's Allegations

Ardoino's defense against US Government scrutiny claims

Amidst claims of US government scrutiny, Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino defends the compliance and operational integrity of USDt, challenging Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse's assertions.

Key takeaways:

  • Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino has responded to Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s comments regarding potential US government action against Tether.
  • Ardoino emphasized Tether's robust compliance measures, its role in supporting unbanked communities, and its cooperation with law enforcement globally.
  • Tether has actively complied with law enforcement requests, freezing over $1.3 billion linked to criminal activities in cooperation with global agencies.

In a spirited defense, Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino has addressed concerns raised by Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse about the US government potentially targeting Tether, the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin, USDt. Over the weekend, Garlinghouse posited that such scrutiny could ripple through the cryptocurrency ecosystem, stating: 

“The US Government is going after Tether. That is clear to me. I view Tether as a very important part of the ecosystem and I don’t know how to predict the impact it would have on the rest of the ecosystem.”

Responding on May 13 via a detailed social media post, Ardoino criticized Garlinghouse for instilling undue fear about USDt, especially as Ripple itself faces an investigation by the SEC and plans to launch a competing stablecoin. Ardoino remarked:

“An uninformed CEO, leading a company being investigated by the SEC, launching a competitive stablecoin (cui prodest), is being reported spreading fear about USDt.”

Tether’s compliance and global law enforcement cooperation

Highlighting Tether's stability and adherence to compliance standards, Ardoino stressed the stablecoin’s critical role in providing financial services to unbanked populations in emerging markets. 

He noted: 

“USDt is the most used stablecoin in the world... Entire communities...are using USDt daily as their checking and saving account.”

Ardoino further detailed Tether’s proactive cooperation with law enforcement worldwide, revealing that in the past year alone, Tether voluntarily honored 198 requests to freeze wallets linked to illicit activities, 90 of which came from the US. Over three years, the company has responded to 339 such requests, with 158 originating from US authorities.

The Tether CEO also highlighted the substantial amounts frozen due to these collaborations, stating that Tether has frozen over $1.3 billion in assets tied to fraud, hacks, and money laundering. Of this, more than $639 million was blocked in partnership with US law enforcement agencies.

Concluding his statement, Ardoino emphasized Tether's direct cooperation with law enforcement, contrasting it with other stablecoins that he claimed only act on a judge's order, which might give criminals time to move funds. He asserted: 

“Tether cooperates directly with law enforcement agencies, while other stablecoins, although they claim to be 'more compliant' they require a judge order, allowing hackers, scammers, and criminals a long time to move funds around.”