Wednesday, August 4

The man at the center of the world’s largest stablecoin began his career as a plastic surgeon, went by’Merlin,’ and once had to pay Microsoft to settle a counterfeiting case


Photo illustration of Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange website

  • A report from the Financial Times reveals new details about Giancarlo Devasini, the CFO of tether.
  • Tether is the main source of liquidity in the crypto market, letting traders move in between tokens and dollars with relative ease.
  • Some of Devasini’s businesses were plagued by scandal. In 1996, he paid $65,000 to Microsoft to settle claims of counterfeiting.
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A report from the Financial Times is revealing new details about Giancarlo Devasini, the CFO of tether, who has risen from obscurity to become one of the most pivotal people in crypto.

While Devasini is not CEO, the 57-year-old is seen as the central figure at both tether and Bitfinex, the crypto exchange that controls tether, the $62 billion stablecoin.

“At the end, I am the guy that calls the shots in Bitfinex,” he said in a 2016 online chatroom, per the FT.

Tether is the main source of liquidity in the crypto market, letting traders move in between tokens and dollars with relative ease. Likewise, Bitfinex is seen as setting the temperature for the broader market, according to an executive quoted by the FT.

Devasini began his career with a short stint in plastic surgery, a profession he quickly grew to loathe. In a 2014 interview, he said he felt the work was a “scam” and recalled failing to talk a woman out of a breast reduction, lamenting her breasts “fit her perfectly.”

In the mid-1990s, a few years after leaving behind plastic surgery, Devasini founded several computer companies, adopting the monikers “Merlin” and “merlinmagoo” along the way.

But some of his businesses were plagued by scandal. In 1996, he paid $65,000 to Microsoft to settle claims of counterfeiting. In 2007, Toshiba sued him for patent infringement. In 2010, one of Devasini’s companies was banned from Tradeloop, an online electronics marketplace , after a customer complained it had not sent the promised products.

Tether disputed the nature of these disputes. It told the FT the Microsoft case was due to a dodgy supplier, the Toshiba lawsuit “went nowhere,” and the Tradeloop incident was a “minor commercial dispute.”



markets.businessinsider.com

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