What happened here was not a mistake; it is not that they were hacked. They took several decisions to put at risk customer assets.
The crypto industry saw dark days over the past week. FTX, the former second-largest exchange in the world, crumbled. The fallout continues to ripple across the industry, with FTX-backed companies filing for bankruptcy, users filing for lawsuits, and regulators sharpening their claws.
In this context, we sat with Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) for Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex to get his opinion about recent events. Paolo joined us from El Salvador, the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender, a historical place for the nascent asset class.
Two major events in the industry’s history came together from this location, the celebration of mainstream adoption by a nation-state and the fall from grace of one of its golden boys, Sam Bankman-Fried. Paolo gave his perspective on real adoption in the Latin American Country, and the recent events that ushered in the collapse of FTX.
His message revolved around education, self-custody, and the work ahead for crypto exchanges, users, and all actors across the crypto space. This is what he told us:
Q: You were on the ground in El Savador, the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender. Are people using Bitcoin for daily payments? How do you see things down there in terms of adoption?
PA: So adoption, you know, so we see adoption in among, first of all, commercials, and businesses. The adoption when it comes to people and retail, the consumers, is still not widespread. I think it’s normal.
So is fully normal, you know, thinking and pretending that after just one year, everyone in the streets would use Bitcoin. That is super far-fetched. The usage of Bitcoin comes with infrastructure, and building infrastructure requires time, even when Europe moved from, you know, all the different currencies of the different countries to one single currency called Euro. It took several years up to six years to prepare everyone for the passage. And that was, you know, a forced passage to a single option that was Europe and is in El Salvador.
Bitcoin is being used as an option for dollars. So, my point is that it will take several years in order to create adoption, and that is completely normal. And the only thing we can do is to keep building infrastructure and support and make the user experience more seamless.
Q: How are you guys contributing to crypto…