Questions for Tether with Paolo Ardoino & Stuart Hoegner

In this interview, I talk to Paolo Ardoino & Stuart Hoegner the CTO & General Counsel at Bitfinex. We discuss Tether FUD, the claims of not being fully backed and price manipulation.

00:03:02 Introductions
00:03:50 Understanding the life cycle of tethers
00:08:37 Is Tether censorship resistant?
00:11:32 Tether’s use case
00:14:44 Compliance measures
00:16:46 Deltec Bank
00:18:19 Tether’s backing
00:22:04 Tether’s Bitcoin assets
00:27:04 Audits and transparency
00:28:38 Price manipulation
00:31:23 Need for improved communications
00:32:58 NYAG vs Bitfinex and Tether
00:36:10 After the investigation…
00:37:06 The class action lawsuit
00:37:39 Regulations for the crypto industry
00:40:44 Security is key
00:42:18 Supported blockchains
00:42:58 Final comments

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“We don’t believe in suing our critics into silence… we think it’s better to counter fiction with facts.”
— Stuart Hoegner

Location: Remotely
Date: Wednesday 6th January
Company: Bitfinex
Role: CTO & General Counsel

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There have been claims that Tether has manipulated the Bitcoin price. Still, JL van der Velde, CEO of both Bitfinex and Tether, denied the allegations stating “Bitfinex nor Tether is, or has ever, engaged in any sort of market or price manipulation. Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the price of bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex.”

As well as market manipulation there have been calls for a full audit of the Tether reserves amidst claims that the stablecoin is not fully reserved.

In this interview, I talk to Paolo Ardoino & Stuart Hoegner the CTO & General Counsel at Bitfinex. We discuss Tether FUD, the claims of not being fully backed and price manipulation.



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  • 31:51 i threw up in my mouth a little… 'we'll try to be more brilliant and great and fantastic at communication, I'll admit we've been too busy being amazing… I'm guilty.. of maybe loving this darn company too darn much'

  • From Griffin & Shams October 2019 paper:
    "By mapping the blockchains of Bitcoin and Tether, we are able to establish that one large player on Bitfinex uses Tether to purchase large amounts of Bitcoin when prices are falling and following the printing of Tether … Rather than demand from cash investors, these patterns are most consistent with the supply-based hypothesis of unbacked digital money inflating cryptocurrency prices."

  • Anyone seen CEO Jan Ludovicus van der Velde recently?

  • mega scam!!!

  • "The assurance opinion, of which the BTC Times has obtained a copy, describes Tether's consolidated reserves report dated February 28th, 2021, "fairly stated." The document further notes that Tether's "reserves held for its digital assets issued exceeds the amount required to redeem the digital asset tokens issued." -Moore Global

    Comment section BTFO.


  • thanks for convincing me that tether is definitely a con lol..

    Always good to bring in your general counsel during an interview to make sure you look innocent haha

  • If you look at the history of these guys you get a pretty decent overview of what sort of characters they are. Not trustworthy in my opinion.

  • The interviewer SUCKS!!!
    Ask the right questions you idiot!
    And be more persistent with your questions!
    There are so many contradictions around tether you could have EASILY grilled them but all you do is let them give you answers a child would have come up with. What an awful fucking job by the interviewer!!!

  • My conclusion of this podcast #297 is: There is a smoking gun. Shit will come to light. But if Tether fails it will strengthen Bitcoin on the long run. Maybe we will see a short dip. But that's an opportunity to buy.

  • Tether is backed by BTC!?? What a joke

  • This confirms that any centralized "block chain" coin, is a shit coin.

  • The term FUD is used in a cult like fashion to shout down genuine causes for concern.

  • This is sooo shady!

  • This interview was a great success! It educated me massively, so that I'm staying well away from Tether and de-risking my crypto holding for now. Still a bitcoiner philosophically though! My message to Tether: you guys are pissing on Satoshi's grave.

  • Why would they even do this interview? They are so evasive it is ridiculous.

  • Still a newbie so can someone explain what this means for bitcoin itself and how this might affect custodians? These guys are going down for sure.

  • Is it just me or does this explanation make zero sense?

    Q: what I'm trying to understand is if it's only bitcoin held for transactions on the omni-layer I understand that. But if bitcoin is held within the basket because it's seen as a good asset to hold, how does it end up in there? I'm just trying to understand that.

    Paolo: So, but, why we should issue, even in the case when someone would like to add bitcoin to its own basket, why issuing tethers to do that. So there are fiat exchanges, so why, so if someone wants to manage his portfolio will just take part in dollars and buy bitcoins. So why issuing tether to do so?

    Q: I don't know. That's why I'm asking

    Paolo: Ja, in any case, so the entire concept of us issuing tether to buy bitcoin for ourselves doesn't make sense, so why issuing tether when we had already the dollars and already the ability to manage the inventory and our portfolios when we could just use the dollars? So our entire narrative is completely nonsense. So why you have to do two steps when you we can do one?

    Q: ok that's fair.

  • "People who critique Tether are just fudders, they are either nocoiners or Bitcoin haters. They don't like BTC price going up"

    Sure buddy. Keep telling yourself that, that's bubble talk at it's finest. "They just hating, we rolling".

    You're not familiar with the affair and did not ask the right questions.

  • 29:32 – best BUUT BUUT BUUTCOIN I've ever heard.

  • Tether is backed by bitcoin, he didn’t mention how much. Yeah that’s what I thought. Big ass scam. And giant house of cards. Everyone be careful.

  • After listening to these 2 crooks, I sold my +60K USDT and bought PAX and USDC instead. Thank you for the podcast. I am sure these two frauds are minting unbacked tether and then buying bitcoin on their own exchange, thus manipulating the market.

  • If someone can print money, they have the power

  • What a bunch of shadies…

  • 23:17 – listen very carefully to the response from Stuart and Paolo… These scammers belong in jail really.

  • Investing in crypto now should be in every wise individuals list, in some months time you'll be ecstatic with the decision you made today.

  • So you create tethers (authorized but not issued tethers) – buy bitcoins and you can keep creating them and having them sit on the shelf until someone redeems it for dollars, in the meantime you can have 1M tether for every tether redeemed and used to pump up bitcoin. Classic!! Madoff loves it

  • The interviewer is a bigger Bozo than the interviewees!!!

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