- One of the largest contributors to Tether is a huge donor to UK politicians, including Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson.
- After millions of dollars in donations, the UK government has announced plans to recognize stablecoins as payments.
- Investigations revealed that only four people owned 84% of the company in 2018.
- Tether’s largest shareholder, former plastic surgeon Giancarlo Defassini, owns 43% of the company.
Tether Holdings Ltd. The $68 billion stablecoin Tether, which has more than 100,000 trading volumes. However, Tether is a private company that has very little information about its owners.
A recent report by the Wall Street Journal unearthed documents revealing that as of 2018, only four people owned 86% of Tether shares. Its owners are a disparate group of businessmen with little experience in finance.
One of them is a huge British political donor who gave £1 million to former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
British-Thai businessman Christopher Harborne, also known as Chakrit Sakunkrit, holds the record for the largest donation to an individual politician in British history.
He received several Tether shares as compensation for the money he lost in the Bitfinex hack. He bought more, and by 2018 he owned about 12% of Tether shares.
Soon after buying a stake in Tether, Harborne became active in British politics. In 2019 and 2020, he donated £13.7m to Nigel Farage’s exit party from the European Union.
Harborne has since begun donating more to the UK’s ruling Conservative Party, including Johnson’s £1m donation.
Since then, the UK government has unveiled a plan to recognize stablecoins like Tether as valid payment methods. According to the government, the move is part of a larger effort to position the UK as a global hub for crypto-asset technology.
The major shareholders of Tether are Bitfinex executives, plastic surgeons
In 2018, Tether’s largest shareholder, Giancarlo Defassini, controlled 43% of the company. Devasini is a former plastic surgeon turned electronics and cryptocurrency importer. He is also the CFO of Bitfinex, a crypto exchange tightly intertwined with Tether.
Devasini co-founded Tether in 2014 with Brock Pierce, a former child actor turned crypto entrepreneur. However, Pierce soon left the company and sold his shares.
Other major shareholders of Tether include Jean-Louis van der Velde, CEO of both Tether and Bitfinex, and Stewart Hoegner, general counsel of both companies. Hoegner goes by @bitcoinlawyer on Twitter. These two executives, who work for Tether and Bitfinex, each own 15% of the company.
Documents related to Tether’s ownership structure come from investigations by the New York Attorney General’s Office and the CFTC into Tether.
After these investigations, Tether settled with the agencies for $61 million. In addition to paying a fine, Tether also had to periodically disclose its reserves.
on the flip side
- Ownership in private companies is usually not disclosed to the public.
Why should you bother
Crypto billionaires donating billions to politicians can gain huge influence. For example, Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX did just that before his stock market crashed.
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