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86% of Tether was concentrated among four people till 2018

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86% of Tether was concentrated among four people till 2018

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  • A report by WSJ revealed that 86% of Tether was controlled by four people as of 2018.
  • The USDT issuer has disclosed very little about its operations and ownership structure.

A new report by the Wall Street Journal brought to light some interesting facts and numbers related to the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin.

Tether-issued USDT is arguably the most popular stablecoin in the crypto market. Its market capitalization paired with the reserves posted by the issuer have helped it weather the crypto winter by securing the confidence of investors. 

Tether’s popularity played a significant role in easing the concerns of investors during the numerous controversies that the USDT issuer has faced over the past few years.

For a cryptocurrency that is such a significant part of the crypto market, there is not a lot of transparency surrounding its operations and ownership.

4 people controlled 86% of Tether

The report published by the Wall Street Journal cited documents from the 2021 probes of the stablecoin issuer by the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission and the Attorney General of New York.

The documents revealed Tether’s ownership structure to some extent, providing an insight into the founders of the company. 

The founders include Giancarlo Devasini, a former plastic surgeon, and Brock Pierce, an actor turned crypto evangelist. They operated separate firms before joining forces in 2014. It is interesting to note that Devasini helped develop the crypto exchange Bitfinex. 

As per the report, as of 2018, 86% of Tether was controlled by four people. Devasisni’s stake accounted for a whopping 43% of the firm.

Chief executive Jean-Louis van der Velde and the firm’s general counsel Stuart Hoegner each had a 15% stake. Christopher Harborne, the fourth owner, had controlled another 13% of the company. Brock Pierce reportedly left the firm before 2018. 

Tether’s footprint on the crypto industry and its influence in the market warrants a reasonable level of disclosure about its management and operations.

However, the company releases very little information on these subjects. Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino described the report as a “clown article” in a tweet aimed at the Wall Street Journal.

“People understand that Tether is standing for freedom and inclusion. This is upsetting MSM. Eventually, hole punch will break media as well,” he tweeted. At the time of writing USDT had a market cap of a little over $68 billion. 


Saman Waris works as a News Editor at AMBCrypto. She has always been fascinated by how the tides of finance and technology shape communities across demographics. Cryptocurrencies are of particular interest to Saman, with much of her writing centered around understanding how ideas like Momentum and Greater Fool theories apply to altcoins, specifically, memecoins. A graduate in history, Saman worked the sports beat before diving into crypto. Prior to joining AMBCrypto 2 years ago, Saman was a News Editor at Sportskeeda. This was preceded by her stint as Editor-in-Chief at EssentiallySports.
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