A Financial Times (FT) article on Tether CEO Jean-Louis (JL) van der Velde has become the center of controversy. Tether, the biggest stablecoin issuer is not new to media glare owing to its run-ins with the law and continuous speculations about its reserve. The stablecoin issuer has taken a strong objection to FT’s article on Velde titled “Tether’s CEO: from IT sales to calling the shots in crypto land.”
Tether took a dig at the FT article for showing the CEO in the bad light and called it a “tabloid piece,” rather than real journalism. The controversial article begins with JL’s early life in China where his company faced several lawsuits and tax fines. The article read,
“The chief executive of Tether ran a company that faced a string of lawsuits in China over unpaid bills and fines for late tax payments before he helped launch the contentious stablecoin now at the heart of the crypto industry.”
The article then goes on to talk about his early life as an electronic salesperson to his troubles with creditors and law. Tether took special exception to FT’s digging of the past and highlighting early failures. In an official press release, the firm said,
“The recent Financial Times story highlights the challenges of doing business in China, and despite this, JL was able to build positive relationships with his business constituents. This only further demonstrates the character and dedication of our company’s executives to problem-solving and their ability to navigate through complex situations and environments.”
Tether went on to accuse the author of the article of following “tabloid journalism” and said,
“It saddens them to see this genre of journalism taking over at the Financial Times. Rather than taking the effort to truly learn and understand the significance of blockchain technology and the Web3 revolution, reporters such as the ones who penned this article for the Financial Times have chosen to go down the road of tabloid journalism to sustain readership for the once well-respected publication house.”
Tether controversies continue to mount
The FT article also talked about Tether’s controversial stablecoin management and reserve controversy. The leading stablecoin issuer has maintained that their USDT reserves are fully backed, however instead of all reserves being backed by cash or cash equivalents, a portion of its is backed by commercial papers and some other securities that aren’t considered stable.
Tether along with Bitfinex crypto exchange was fined by CFTC in October for misleading financial information about its reserves. The stablecoin issuer came out with a statement in the wake of a $43 million fine, claiming they have resolved the issue.
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