Tether and Ripple Go Head-to-Head as CEO Paolo Ardoino Lashes Out Against Brad Garlinghouse

  • Tether’s CEO accused Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, of “spreading fear” about Tether’s USDt stablecoin during his recent appearance on a podcast.
  • Garlinghouse says his intention wasn’t to criticise Tether, but to draw attention to what he believes is the US government’s crackdown on USD-backed stablecoins.
  • This comes as Ripple prepares to launch its own native USD-backed stablecoin later this year, which will compete directly with USDt.

The CEO of Tether, Paolo Ardoino, has accused Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, of “spreading fear” about Tether and its USDt stablecoin. Ardoino’s accusations came after Garlinghouse appeared on a May 10 episode of the World Class podcast and said he believes the US government is “going after” Tether.

Garlinghouse has responded by claiming he was simply saying it’s obvious the US government wants to have more control over issuers of USD-backed stablecoins, and that Tether, as the largest issuer, is in the government’s crosshairs.

Related: Tether to Freeze Assets in Bid to Block Venezuelan Attempts to Sidestep Oil Sanctions 

What Exactly Did Garlinghouse Say?

During his podcast appearance, Garlinghouse expressed his opinion that there would certainly be another “black swan” event in crypto, similar to the disastrous collapse of FTX in 2022. He went on to say “The U.S. government is going after Tether, that is clear to me.” 


While he didn’t explicitly say he thinks a government investigation of Tether would trigger a “black swan” event, such as the collapse of Tether and its USDt stablecoin, some people — including Ardoino — seem to have interpreted his comments that way.

Garlinghouse also made some positive comments about Tether, saying “I view Tether as a very important part of the ecosystem.” The Ripple CEO also said he didn’t know how to predict what the impact of a government investigation into Tether might be, simply saying that it was an “interesting one to watch.”

Tether CEO Defends USDt

These comments were enough to rile up Paolo Ardoino, and he took to X to defend his company and stablecoin:

An uniformed (sic) CEO, leading a company being investigated by the SEC, launching a competitive stablecoin (cui prodest), is being reported spreading fear about USDt.

Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether

Ardoino then went on to give a lengthy account of all of Tether’s virtues, saying it’s committed to banking the unbanked, particularly in developing nations, and gave an update on Tether’s commitment to working with law enforcement globally to eliminate criminal uses of crypto. He also claimed all of this ‘good news’ about Tether has been largely ignored by mainstream media to protect the interests of the “old guard of the financial establishment”.

Garlinghouse responded to Ardoino’s post, saying “I wasn’t attacking Tether…the next words out of my mouth during the podcast were that I view Tether as a hugely important part of the ecosystem.”

The Ripple CEO further clarified that his intention was to point out what he sees as the US government’s crackdown on USD-backed stablecoins, not to attack Tether specifically:

My point was that the US govt has clearly indicated they want more control over USD-backed stablecoin issuers, and thus, Tether, as the largest player, is in their line of sight.

Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple CEO

Related: SEC Delivers Decisive Final Response in Ripple XRP Legal Battle, Calls Stablecoin Unregistered 

This stoush comes at an interesting time, as Ripple prepares to launch its own native stablecoin later this year, which Ripple CTO David Schwartz has previously said will be backed with dollar deposits, short-term US government treasury bills and other cash equivalents.

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

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