The interview with Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether

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During the second day of the Plan B event organized by Tether together with the city of Lugano, Switzerland, we interviewed Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether and Bitfinex.

What is the feedback regarding the Plan B event?

I am very satisfied. The feedback received from many people seems very positive to me. So many people tell me that the event organization was very good, they ate well and they had a good time at the parties, especially since entertainment is also important and not just education. In addition, we sold more tickets than we had planned. We sold 1780 tickets, while we planned to sell 1200/1300, so there was more turnout than we thought.

And we actually also received another compliment about the panelists who were reputed to be high-level and interesting, with important speakers. We had Adam Back, Jimmy Song, Samson Mow, and other high-profile people who managed to condense the importance of what we are doing with Bitcoin.

What are the next steps for the city of Lugano?

First and foremost, we would like to make this event annual. Given the success, we think we can do even better next year. In terms of other steps, we aim for more adoption by merchants. 

We want to do education events specifically for them. We started now with 60 as a pilot project but we plan to expand and reach 1,000 merchants by mid-2023. That’s a nice target, which I think is absolutely attainable, in part because we will be providing POS for free, in partnership with GoCrypto. We want to create a system whereby merchants are not scared of this technology and understand that they can adopt it without worrying about volatility. 

How is adoption going in Lugano in terms of payments made in crypto?

We’ve seen that there are about a thousand transactions made already, so that’s a good result. And we are just at the beginning, therefore the adoption will obviously be slower now, but as time goes on there will be more and more transactions in Bitcoin and Tether. As always it takes patience and time, it requires explaining how it works and responding to criticism, but I am very hopeful. 

Is the Bitfinex debit card for spending crypto coming soon?

It took longer than we expected but it should arrive by January/February.

Is there any news on Tether Gold?

We are seeing that there is a bit more adoption. OKX has listed Tether Gold recently, and we are in discussions with other exchanges to list Tether Gold as an alternative to stablecoins based on national currencies, then moving toward the gold-based financial world. For us, Tether Gold is not competing with Bitcoin, but with the dollar. 

Tether Euro?

Due to our business model which is aimed mostly at emerging markets, we have seen that these markets are much more interested in the dollar as the actual reserve currency. Hence not only Tether but in general all stablecoins that are pegged to the euro have a harder time growing.

Tether Franc, have you thought about that?

I can’t say much yet, but I can say it is in our considerations.

Bitfinex Securities?

There is a lot of interest because there are more and more companies interested in tokenizing financial assets which can be investment funds, startups, established companies, etc… So, we think that in 2023 there will be a boom in security tokens and Bitfinex Securities will definitely be the main platform. In the meantime, we are also collaborating with STOKR, which is part of this project because with their licensing they bring us projects that want to be tokenized under Luxembourg law.



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