Tether CTO Shares his Prediction for 2024 | Paolo Ardoino

Crypto doesn't need a blockchain. Crypto doesn't 
need a token. There is no way to stop Bitcoin.   Full stop. This is Paolo Ardoino, the CEO 
of Tether, the world's largest stablecoin   Operator. In this Cointelegraph interview, 
Paolo addressed the challenges facing Tether   In the competitive stablecoin market and 
share his crypto outlook for 2024. I would   Like to address this prediction that was made 
by VanEck. They say in a recent report that USDC   Is poised to flip USDT in 2024 as, quote, more 
institutional adoption will reveal a preference   For USDC already evident on newer L2 chains. 
So what do you think about this assessment? Well, it's an interesting assessment. The way 
I think about it is that of course, VanEck is   An institutional player, and they only look at 
the market from the institutional point of view,   Right? For them, they seem to think that the 
market is all about institutions and the crypto   Is becoming mainstream in the institutional space. 
And look, we are extremely glad, as I said before,   If our competitors keep growing and Tether 
doesn't have to be the first and the biggest   Stablecoins forever. So in general, I don't 
mind. What I think, though, is that I'm glad   To see that our competition is focusing on the 
institutional space, because that was never,   Never the goal and the interest of Tether and 
USDT. We are the stablecoin used by hundreds   Of millions of people. Our competition focuses 
on Wall Street and, you know, the same guys in   Europe. You know, the classic institutions, the 
banks, the hedge funds. We are more than happy   To leave that entire market to our competition. 
We believe that crypto is about something else,   Is about, providing help and rails to the 
unbanked people. And we believe that is   The only reason to exist. Maybe not the only, 
but is the main reason to exist of crypto and   Bitcoin and stablecoins is to democratize the 
access to financial services. So if someone has   A better luck in growing their market cap 
with institutional investors, that's fine. That's interesting. So basically USDC as 
the stablecoin of the elites and USDT as   The stablecoin of the people. Not long ago, 
Tether announced its collaboration with US   Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and 
Secret Service. You helped these law enforcement   Agencies retrieving some funds, freezing some 
accounts of entities that were on the US sanctions   List. So I read some critical comments 
about that online regarding the fact that,   Basically these comments were saying that now 
Tether won't be a neutral medium of exchange,   But it will be subjected to the 
arbitrariness of US authorities. So   How would you reply to people that 
are concerned about that aspect? So first of all, every single stablecoin 
has freezing capabilities. The reason is   Fairly simple, right? Stablecoins, the 
dollar stablecoins, Euro stablecoins,   They represent an underlying fiat currency. And 
they are using the banking rails to operate. So   How would be possible to not using the banking 
rails, using the banking system? Because from  

One side people want the stability of USDT or the 
stablecoins in general. And if you want stability,   You pretend as a customer of a stablecoin that the 
stablecoin has safe assets like T-bills. But on   The other side say, well, but you shouldn't have 
to comply with law enforcement. We use blockchains   That are decentralized transport layers as a 
transport layer, but in the end the stablecoin   Is centralized. So if we were not to comply with 
law enforcement requests and so on, first of all,   The stability of the stablecoin would 
not be guaranteed. Because of course,   If you are not complying with real world 
laws, then the stablecoin itself could be   Impacted. So it's important to understand 
that there is a huge difference between a   Stablecoin and Bitcoin. If you need something 
that is untouchable, that is unstoppable,   That is resistant to the wrath of God, you 
use Bitcoin. If you want to have access to   The dollar and dollar in your pockets, and 
you want to use it in a better way, cheaper,   Way, faster way,more resilient way than your 
cash or your bank account in dollars, use USD. Right. So you mentioned Bitcoin. So I would 
like now to switch the attention to Bitcoin   And specifically to a prediction that was 
made by, I believe your friend Samson Mow   In a previous interview with us was very bullish. 
He said that in 2024, he expects Bitcoin to reach   $1 million price because of the, combination 
effect of the halving and the ETF approval,   Which is he expects to be approved early next 
year. So what do you think about this prediction? Well, Samson is a good friend and anything 
that will say below his number, he will call   Me a bear. A few years ago for Bitcoin, many 
of the institutional investors were calling   Bitcoin a product only for criminals. And now 
they are jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon. So   I think we should be happy about the result 
about the fact that we called them out. Now,   We called their hypocrisy out, and 
now they're joining the Bitcoin ranks,   Or at least on the face of it, they are 
joining the Bitcoin ranks. But you know   In the end the more we go ahead, the price of 
course matters, is important. But the price   Is a reflection of the fact that there 
is no way to stop Bitcoin full stop. Coming back to stablecoins. Stablecoins are great 
because they are probably the only cryptocurrency   That has reached sort of mass adoption with a use 
case that has nothing to do with speculation. What   Will it take for something like that to emerge in 
the crypto space in 2024? Will we see something   Like stablecoins, another killer use case 
emerge? And what could that be, according to you? Well, there is a little bit of distinction to be 
made. People will decouple the need of a token and   The need of a blockchain from the pure innovation. 
Real world ecosystem, as I like to call it,   Is a set of tools. Could be, I don't know, a 
booking system. Could be an Uber competitor,   Could be everything built on this new dogma of 
being decentralized and leveraging cryptography   To enhance privacy and to cut intermediaries. 
The thing that I think will not survive in 2024  

Or will keep going down in interest is yet 
another token. I think we are going to not   Live that moment anymore. So everyone that 
today comes and say, well, I have this new   Token because I have this great project. I mean, 
I hear more and more voices telling the person,   Stop, we don't need another token. So, real 
world applications and real world ecosystem   Are things that people need in their daily 
life. You are a teacher at school or you are   Basically a musician. What do you need 
in your life, what is the thing you use   Throughout your day that could be improved 
through cryptography and decentralization? You mentioned the the competitive competitor 
of Uber or competitor of a booking system,   But built on decentralized rails. 
What is the obstacle that still   Prevents that from reaching 
the masses according to you? A simple word, the word that we are referring to 
is greed. Someone could implement some of these   Tools through a blockchain, but the blockchain 
is the worst tool to implement some of these use   Cases. If you were to implement a peer to peer 
Uber, for sure, and truly peer to peer and truly   Decentralized, it would not have, of course, any 
point of failures and it wouldn't need a token,   Right? It could use Bitcoin or USDT for payments, 
but it wouldn't need yet another token. So ask   Yourself why ABC or why a person should build 
something that will not yield them much money.   Because if it's truly peer to peer, if it's 
truly decentralized, It means that it doesn't   Have any point of failure. And a token is a point 
of failure. Because think about what is happening   With the SEC. So many projects that issued tokens 
are now in the crosshairs of the SEC. So because   Most of these tokens are actually centralized 
in the hands of a small group of people,   Making it more likely to be a security. So 
if you were to do something unstoppable,   Something perfect, it would not have a 
token. And so it wouldn't have a blockchain,   Because blockchains are slow, because 
they require global shared state. But that system is not related to 
crypto in any way, right? Because   It doesn't rely on a token nor 
on a blockchain. Is that correct? But here is the point, right? So you said it's 
not related to crypto because it doesn't rely   On a token or a blockchain. But crypto means 
cryptography. So peer-to-peer. So it actually   Is related to crypto and the fundamental 
values of crypto that is cryptography for   Privacy and for attesting the truth without the 
need of exposing yourself. The fact that crypto,   Blockchain and tokens are 
correlated in a way is true,   But also a lie in the sense that 
crypto doesn't need a blockchain,   Crypto doesn't need a token. BitTorrent didn't 
have a blockchain and was decentralized. Then,   Do you need a token to be decentralized? No, of 
course not. You just need cryptography to attest   Who you are with zero-knowledge-proof or other 
systems. And that's the beauty of it. Awesome.

I think that's very interesting. Crypto is not 
equivalent to blockchains or tokens. So that's   A very interesting take. And yeah, let's 
see how everything is going to play out   In 2024. And let's be in touch for next year. 
Paolo, thanks a lot for talking to us today. Thank you, Giovanni,for your 
time. Always a pleasure.

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