Tether’s Elusive CEO Has Vanished from Twitter

Key Takeaways

  • The Twitter account belonging to Tether’s CEO was deleted today.
  • The deletion occurred shortly after Bloomberg published an investigation into the company’s USDT reserves.
  • The CEO’s last statement read “stay tuned” and implied that the company would engage with Bloomberg.

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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 His last tweet, published on Oct. 4, is still available as an archived page and anticipated the content of Bloomberg’s article by several days.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 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, it seems unlikely that he would be personally targeted by anti-Tether groups. Furthermore, other Tether executives, such as CTO Paolo Ardoino, remain active on Twitter.

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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 racial 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.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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Investors Expect Ethereum To Outgrow Bitcoin, According To CoinShares Survey

Investor interest in Ethereum is no longer a novel phenomenon. The second-largest asset by market cap has seen more support with the rise of decentralized finance on its ecosystem. Applications of Ethereum have been the major drive behind the growth of the cryptocurrency and institutional and individual investors alike see the asset outgrowing number 1 coin Bitcoin in the coming years.

A recent CoinShares survey has echoed the sentiment that has been held by investors in the market for a while now. It showed that number of investors who believe Ethereum is set to outpace Bitcoin is over twice the number of investors who are bullish on the growth of bitcoin. Lately, investors have been moving out of their bitcoin positions in favor of ethereum, and the CoinShares survey shows that this might only be the beginning.

Related Reading | Umbrella Network Announces New Launch: Decentralized Oracles On Ethereum Mainnet

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Investors Want Ethereum

The CoinShares survey shed light on investors’ sentiment around the top crypto projects in the market. When asked, 42% of respondents said that they saw the most compelling growth outlook for Ethereum. While 18% said that they saw a compelling growth outlook for bitcoin. The survey showed that Ethereum was regarded as the project to grow the most in the coming years.

Ethereum price chart from TradingView.com

Ethereum price chart from TradingView.com

ETH price settles at $3,600 | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

This does not although take away anything from bitcoin. Blockchain structuring has allowed Ethereum to be at the forefront of one of the most important investment spaces in crypto; the DeFi market. The bitcoin blockchain is gearing up to compete in this space against the likes of Ethereum and Solana with the launch of smart contracts on the network. Expanding the crypto-asset’s utility beyond just its monetary policy.

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Investors Reveal Reasons For Investing

When asked what the biggest motivator for investing in cryptocurrencies was, the top answer was surprisingly not the value of the assets themselves or even diversification. 35% of respondents said that they were investing in the market because the assets were speculative. Only 25% said they used cryptocurrencies as a way to diversify their portfolios. With about 15% investing for the value of the assets.

Respondents also said that regulation, restrictions, and volatility were the biggest hindrance to investing in the crypto market. Regulation also made the top when respondents were asked about the key risks associated with digital assets. A combined 58% said government bans and regulations currently pose the biggest threat to the digital assets market.

Related Reading | Last Resistance Before Ethereum At $5K? Expert Predicts Q4 In The Green

Despite growing interest from institutional investors, individual investors still dominate the cryptocurrency market. 45% of investors said they were invested in the market individually. While Europe and the Middle East possess the largest amount of domiciled funds, with about 70% saying their funds were domiciled in the region.

Featured image from Forkast, chart from TradingView.com


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Bitcoin Decoupling And ETFs

The below is from a recent edition of the Deep Dive, Bitcoin Magazine’s premium markets newsletter. To be among the first to receive these insights and other on-chain bitcoin market analysis straight to your inbox, subscribe now.

After a year of strongly correlated moves with the S&P 500 Index corrections, in the last few days bitcoin has shown the beginnings of a long-awaited decoupling point during an increasingly uncertain macro environment. Over the last few weeks, bitcoin has rallied 34.86% while gold, the S&P 500 and the market-weighted index of the U.S. Treasury debt with remaining maturities of 20 years or more (TLT) were all in negative territory.

Although one data point doesn’t give us statistical evidence that this narrative is now the new normal, every critic in the market will be watching today, as bitcoin shows life as an asset that can gain momentum when there’s growing concerns and volatility in the markets.

In the last few days, bitcoin has shown the beginnings of a long-awaited decoupling point.

Source: Trading View

During a period of great macroeconomic uncertainty, the price action of bitcoin is notable to say the least, with a very clear vertical accumulation taking place in spot markets.

What makes the bitcoin price action even more impressive is that it’s occurring at the same time as a downgrade of forecasted Gross Domestic Product output happening around the world. Using the Atlanta Federal Reserve as an example, their 2021Q3 GDP estimate has declined from over 6.3% to 1.3% in just 70 days. The monetary and fiscal policy economic fuel provided to the market doesn’t seem to be having the same stimulative effects.

This is not a United States-specific problem. For China, “Goldman Sachs has cut China’s economic growth forecast for 2021 to 7.8%, from 8.2%, as energy shortages and deep industrial output cuts add “significant downside pressures.”

While it is true that bitcoin remains mostly an uncorrelated asset, during periods of risk off, bitcoin historically has not been immune as U.S. dollar strength means weakness for the BTC/USD pair, which is why the recent developments are so bullish.

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Bitcoin NFTs Are Emerging on Stacks. Can They Thrive?

In brief

  • Stacks has seen rising NFT collectibles activity in recent weeks.
  • The smart contract platform rolls up and settles its transaction on Bitcoin’s blockchain.

Ethereum owns the largest cut of the booming NFT market, which produced $10.67 billion worth of transaction volume in Q3 2021 alone. Solana has recently emerged as an alternative, plus Flow and Polygon have a share of the action. But what about Bitcoin NFTs?

You might be thinking: Are those even possible? Bitcoin doesn’t have the smart contract capabilities of Ethereum and other networks, so it cannot run the code needed to operate NFTs, DeFi protocols, and decentralized apps. Not natively, at least.

That’s where Stacks comes in. Stacks is a blockchain that can run smart contracts, and ultimately rolls up all of its transactions and settles them on Bitcoin. It’s a layer-1 blockchain, but takes a similar approach to Ethereum’s layer-2 scaling solutions. “I call it a layer 1.5,” Stacks founder Muneeb Ali told Decrypt last month.

Just as Stacks can enable Bitcoin-based DeFi protocols without wrapping BTC for use on Ethereum, its smart contract capabilities can also power NFTs backed by the security and liquidity of the Bitcoin network. Stacks performs a lot of the work away from the Bitcoin mainnet, however, so the individual transactions are faster, cheaper, and less energy-intensive.

The concept of Bitcoin-backed NFTs isn’t entirely new, but the framing is—and the market has changed and matured considerably. Years back, before anyone knew what an “NFT” was, visual assets were tokenized and shared via Counterparty, a protocol that is built atop Bitcoin.

Pre-NFT collections like Rare Pepes (2016) have since been wrapped and transferred over to Ethereum for more recent transactions. One Rare Pepe sold for $687,000 worth of ETH in September, and even rapper Snoop Dogg owns some.

Today, however, amidst skyrocketing NFT demand and a desire for lower-cost alternatives to Ethereum, NFT collections are popping up on Stacks. Brittany Laughlin, executive director of the Stacks Foundation, told Decrypt that she’s “seen an uptick in NFTs” created on the platform lately, with creators saying that they “want to tie it into the Bitcoin blockchain.”

Putting NFTs on Bitcoin might seem like a novelty, but that edge could be advantageous. Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and its most ardent supporters are often maximalists, shunning all other cryptocurrencies and their networks as a result. Paired with Stacks’ scalable tech, it might help these NFTs stand out in an increasingly crowded market.

A modest stack of NFTs

Stacks’ NFT scene is relatively small in scale right now. According to the Stacks dashboard—which lists only a handful of total projects—the most-transacted NFT collection of the last 24 hours is Bitcoin Birds, which has had 16,651 STX traded over the last 24 hours. That’s about $23,100 worth.

Compare that to $21.3 million worth of NFT trading for leading Ethereum game Axie Infinity or $3.8 million worth of volume for rising avatar project CrypToadz during the same span. Ethereum’s dominance of the NFT space is enormous, but as Solana’s recent uptick in activity has shown, there’s room for rival platforms to start making waves.

One Stacks project called Bitcoin Birds was developed by Abraham Finlay, a 12-year-old boy, according to a local news report from Oregon’s Roseburg Tracker, generating about $8,000 during the sold-out minting process. As of this writing, the cheapest-available Bitcoin Bird NFT on the StacksArt marketplace is listed at 800 STX, or about $1,100.

“My family got into Bitcoin pretty early and my Dad had been following the Stacks project since way back,” Finlay told Decrypt. “I plan on holding my Bitcoin for the long term and think it’s really cool to have NFTs on Bitcoin now.”

Stacks also has its own knockoff of the top Ethereum avatar project CryptoPunks, dubbed StacksPunks. It’s like a rite of passage for emerging NFT markets, as Solana, Polygon, and Binance Smart Chain have their own respective versions, but it’s murky legal territory: marketplace OpenSea briefly delisted PolygonPunks after a DMCA takedown notice from CryptoPunks creators Larva Labs.

In any case, StacksPunks have generated nearly $2.9 million worth of trading volume to date from people who want to snag a rainbow-draped copycat for a fraction of the price of the real deal. A CryptoPunk starts at 115 ETH, or $415,000. A StacksPunk starts at 60 STX, or $82.

Another project called Boomboxes treats NFTs like staking rewards in a DeFi yield farming effort: users who stake their STX, or lock it up within the network, receive NFTs in return. That project already has more than $1 million worth of assets locked up.

Meanwhile, an upcoming addition to the Stacks NFT ecosystem is Satoshibles—an NFT avatar collection that currently lives on Ethereum, yet is based on the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Developer Brian Laughlan will work with the Stacks Foundation to build a bridge from Ethereum, letting users transfer NFTs from one platform to the other.

OpenSea data anecdotally suggests a rise in Satoshibles trading volume and average NFT sale price since the bridge from Ethereum to Stacks was announced on September 17.

“Many holders commented on how they would prefer to store their Satoshible on Bitcoin rather than Ethereum,” Laughlan told Decrypt. “Since the Bitcoin community is very true to Bitcoin, they tend to have reservations about using ETH to purchase NFTs.”

“It was only right to create the NFTs on a platform that honored Satoshi’s legacy,” he said.


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Here’s How Bullish Crypto Investors Really Are on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Polkadot, Solana, Luna and XRP: Survey

A new poll conducted by digital asset investment firm CoinShares shows close to half of investors believe a single crypto asset now has the highest upside potential – and it’s not Bitcoin (BTC).

According to the survey, 42% of investors view Ethereum (ETH) as the most attractive crypto asset based on potential growth, beating Bitcoin by 24 percentage points.



CoinShares says that year-to-date, Ethereum’s market share of crypto assets under management has grown by 15 percentage points.

“42% of investors see Ethereum as having the most compelling growth outlook and by a significant margin, outstripping Bitcoin at 18%.

This mirrors the growth in assets under management (AuM) we have seen in Ethereum, where market share of investment products has risen from 11% at the beginning of the year to 26% today.”

After Bitcoin, investors say they’re most bullish on Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), Solana (SOL), Terra (LUNA), Radix (XRD), and XRP (XRP).

Source: CoinShares

The survey says that about a third of all investors put their money in crypto assets for speculative purposes, while a quarter seek to diversify their portfolio.

One of the major reasons preventing investors from putting their money into crypto assets is regulatory uncertainty.

“Of the survey respondents who said they had not invested, regulation (21%) was cited as the main reason for not investing. Closely linked to this were corporate restrictions at 19%.”

The major risks, according to the CoinShares survey, include government bans and regulations.

“Politics, government bans, and regulation make up 58% of the perceived key risks for digital assets.”

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.

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Billionaire Mark Cuban Says Consumers Prefer Paying in Dogecoin Rather Than Bitcoin – Here’s Why

Famed billionaire Mark Cuban says that consumers are favoring Dogecoin (DOGE) over Bitcoin (BTC) in terms of making payments.

In a new interview with Fox Business, the business tycoon says that customers at his venues are paying in Dogecoin rather than BTC because Bitcoin is an asset that tends to gain value quickly.

“Not a lot of people pay in Bitcoin because it’s really an appreciable asset. It’s a stored value and they want it to go up in value, so you won’t see people pay in it. But a lot of people pay in Dogecoin.”

Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team, says that fans prefer using Dogecoin to purchase tickets and merchandise over BTC, even though the ball club accepts both types of crypto as payment on its website. Cuban says he foresees this trend continuing into the upcoming NBA season.

“We sell thousands and thousands of dollars per month during the offseason, and once the season starts, I expect that to happen per week in DOGE. And that’s really because it’s easy to spend and it doesn’t appreciate so much that people want to hold it forever.”

Cuban had previously made remarks praising Dogecoin as the “strongest” cryptocurrency on the market for making payments.

DOGE is exchanging hands at $0.24 at time of writing while BTC is trading at $53,822, according to CoinGecko.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.

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Billionaire Orlando Bravo’s Firm Plans to Invest in Blockchain Tech Companies

Orlando Bravo – co-founder of Thoma Bravo – has confirmed that his company plans to invest in the broader blockchain industry.

Thoma Bravo’s Investment Plans

The billionaire businessman revealed his plans to invest at the Bloomberg Invest Global virtual conference on Thursday. The interviewer questioned him about whether Thoma Bravo will be an investor in the cryptocurrency space.

Bravo began by reiterating that his company was a “lead investor in the growth equity round of FTX.” He then stated that Thoma Bravo would be an important part of the cryptocurrency industry long-term:

“We will be big players on the buyout side as this industry matures– especially around blockchain technology.”

In Bravo’s opinion, blockchain provides “better use cases” than existing technologies for addressing real-world problems, compared to database products.

From his company’s perspective, blockchain simply means that the software market has gotten “a whole lot bigger.” Thoma Bravo is a private equity firm with a particular focus on software and technology companies.


Bravo said that his company is not looking to make massive buyouts in the space. Rather they will simply use a growth-equity model right now. He also says late-stage growth equity is “becoming very feasible to invest in” regarding blockchain.

As the industry matures in the next 2-5 years, Bravo plans to be “one of the first software buyout firms in the world” as he was 22 years ago.

Bravo Bullish on BTC

While Bravo is enthusiastic about blockchain technology in general, he personally invested in Bitcoin specifically.

Bravo sang Bitcoin’s praises last week, calling it a “decentralized,” “frictionless,” and “borderless” network, which young people love. He also sees it as an excellent inflation hedge.

While not offering a specific price prediction, he did say he was “very bullish” on Bitcoin last week. He foresees many more large institutions allocating funds into Bitcoin and believes that will lead to its price rally.

As of late, his instincts have been fairly accurate. Bitcoin rallied close to $56k yesterday, reclaiming its $1T market cap.


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Binance Plans to Establish New Offices in Ireland

Key Takeaways

  • Binance has announced that it will establish offices in Ireland.
  • Corporate registries show that the company has registered three new firms, in addition to one other firm previously registered.
  • The news comes after China’s crypto ban and other regulatory challenges, which may be forcing Binance to seek out new markets.

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Binance is planning to establish new corporate offices in Ireland, according to reports from Reuters today.

Binance Will Operate in Ireland

In an article dated Oct. 7, Reuters interviewed Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and asked if the company had plans to establish a headquarters in Ireland. Zhao replied in the affirmative.

Zhao also clarified the statement by saying “Historically, we claim that we don’t have headquarters.” That may refer to statements made in may by Zhao in May, in which he explained the company’s employees do not work in a single location. As such, the company does not have a single main headquarters, and its new Ireland location or locations will simply be part of a larger network of offices.

Irish news site Independent.ie also reported that the company registered three firms in the country on Sept. 27. Those companies were registered under the names Binance (APAC) Holdings, Binance (Services) Holdings and Binance Technologies.

The company previously registered Binance (Ireland) Holdings as well.

Though three companies have been registered, the report implies that all those businesses will operate from the same location—an upstairs accountancy office in a building in south Dublin.

Exchange Faces Regulatory Challenges

Regulatory challenges may be one factor that has encouraged Binance to seek out new jurisdictions to work in.

Despite having no main headquarters, Binance’s main market is China and Asia. However, the company recently lost part of that market, as it announced that it would block customers from China’s mainland and Singapore following government restrictions that the Chinese government put in place in late September.

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Earlier this year, various U.K. banks including Barclay’s, HSBC, and Santander blocked their customers from making use of the exchange.

It is not clear why Binance chose Ireland as its next target market. However, some have suggested that a lack of restrictive crypto regulations and low tax rates may have attracted the company.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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Gelato Network Raises $11 Million Series A To Develop Web 3.0 Automation

Backed by industry leaders Dragonfly Capital, ParaFi Capital, Nascent, IDEO CoLab Ventures, and Stani Kulechov, Founder of Aave, Gelato Network raised $11M in its Series A to build the ‘Zapier of Crypto.’

Through a series of automated smart contracts, Gelato can execute on a range of actions for both retail and institutional users. In the retail context, if for example Elon Musk tweets about Doge, Gelato can help your trading software execute a purchase order automatically. In the institutional context, Gelato protects traders from suffering major losses by automatically rebalancing their portfolios and executing trades on their behalf and protects them from potential flash crashes. 

“Gelato expands the capabilities of smart contracts, which are by default inactive and only execute when a user triggers them. Gelato’s network of bots can be used to support a wide variety of applications that require automated actions — from liquidity provision strategies to margin management, and other DeFi use cases. ParaFi is excited to partner with Gelato in building infrastructure to support the next wave of smart contracts that utilize these capabilities,” says Mika Honkasalo of ParaFi Capital. 

Gelato’s mission is to elevate DeFi and crypto trading by allowing traders to protect their assets automatically. With the help of a decentralized network of bots, Gelato helps dApp developers deliver user-friendly UX to scale, and simplify DeFi trading for end users. Current strategic partnerships and integrations for the network include Zerion, Instadapp, and B.Protocol, which uses Gelato to protect traders from experiencing major losses by automatically rebalancing collateral, refinancing vaults, and executing trades when pre-set conditions are met. 


“My co-founder Luis and I were building DeFi applications ourselves and realized that we had to re-create the necessary automation infrastructure each time from scratch in order to  automate specific smart contract functions on Ethereum and other protocols. We realized that automation is the key driver for DeFi to replace traditional financial intermediaries that currently hold ‘exclusive rights’ to exercise execution power over transactions within permissioned and centralized systems. Gelato makes smart contracts behave autonomously while making sure that the infrastructure that executes their logic is also censorship-resistant, decentralized and reliable,” says Hilmar Orth, Co-Founder of Gelato.

Gelato is not the only player in the automation game, however. Keep3r Network, designed by Andre Cronje, facilitates a network of ‘keepers’ to perform automated tasks such as exercising options and AMM limit orders. Another competitor, Chainlink Keepers, enabled smart contract automation to harvest yield, execute limit orders on decentralized exchanges and liquidate under collateralized loans. 

With over $92 billion currently locked across DeFi platforms, the latest crypto bull cycle has largely been driven by new and innovative DeFi applications. As the space continues to grow, fund managers and retail investors require more advanced tools to maintain multiple liquidity pools and trading positions. This new trend of automation is crucial to simplifying the user experience to allow DeFi to reach its full potential as a viable capital management alternative to the legacy system, and it seems that platforms like Gelato and others are rapidly innovating to make decentralized finance our default reality.


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