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The Twitter account belonging to Tether’s CEO was deleted today following a controversy over the USDT stablecoin.
CEO’s Twitter Account Is Gone
Earlier today, Bloomberg published an investigation into the reserves backing Tether’s USDT token. That report concluded that Tether backed the coin with questionable assets including Chinese debt.
Now, the Twitter account belonging to Tether CEO Jan Ludovicus van der Velde has been deleted, either by himself or by someone with access to the account.
Van der Velde’s account was previously located under the handle @urwhatuknow. His last tweet, published on Oct. 4, is still available as an archived page and anticipated the content of Bloomberg’s article by several days. That message reads:
[A]nother financial enslaved dying magazine trying to come up with some #Tether FUD in order to bring in some bucks and delay its extinction for a few more days, stay tuned…. #dinosaurs
Even before his account was deleted, Van der Velde remained extremely elusive. Some have questioned whether the CEO exists or whether the name is merely a pseudonym.
Though at least some media featuring the CEO has been found, Van der Velde has largely not engaged with the public on matters pertaining to Tether and its sister company Bitfinex.
Does the Deletion Indicate Trouble for Tether?
While Tether’s harshest critics believe that the company is on the brink of collapse, it is unlikely that such an extreme outcome will result from Bloomberg’s exposé, especially given that Tether has survived various controversies in the past.
It is possible that Van der Velde’s account was deleted in order to avoid conflict on Twitter. If Bloomberg’s piece prompted hostile messages, Tether’s CEO may also have deleted his account for personal reasons. In fact, today’s deletion resembles a 2019 incident in which Craig Wright of Bitcoin SV disappeared from Twitter following a massive controversy.
Given Van der Velde’s low profile, though, it seems unlikely that he would be personally targeted. Furthermore, other Tether executives, such as CTO Paolo Ardoino, remain active on Twitter.
Tether May Retaliate Against Bloomberg
Today’s events also resemble incidents in which high-profile crypto companies have engaged with mainstream media. Last year, Coinbase preemptively responded to a New York Times article criticizing its hiring policies. In another incident, Binance sued Forbes for defamation over a report on its regulatory tactics.
In this case, it seems likely that Van der Velde (or someone managing his account) deleted past statements in order to prepare a clean slate for a fight against Bloomberg, as implied in his final tweet.
It is possible that Tether plans to publicly respond to Bloomberg, or that it plans to challenge the media outlet in court. Both possibilities are merely speculative at this point.