86% of Tether Was Controlled by 4 People: WSJ

• Documents reveal that four men owned 86% of Tether as of 2018.
• These individuals include Giancarlo Devasini, Jean-Louis van Der Velde, Stuart Hoegner and Christopher Harborne/Chakrit Sakunkrit.
• Tether declined to comment on its ownership structure when approached by the Wall Street Journal.

Stablecoin Issuer Tether Was Controlled by 4 People

Documents viewed by the Wall Street Journal have revealed the previously unknown ownership structure of secretive stablecoin issuer Tether. As of 2018, four men controlled 86% of Tether: Giancarlo Devasini (43%), Jean-Louis van Der Velde (15%), Stuart Hoegner (15%) and Christopher Harborne/Chakrit Sakunkrit (13%).

Background Information on Tether

Tether’s USDT stablecoin is a key piece of infrastructure in the crypto world, easing the movement of money in the industry. The people behind it have not always been forthcoming about how they operate. As such, documents from 2021 probes of Tether by the New York Attorney General and the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission were used to gain insight into their ownership structure.

Ownership Structure Revealed

Giancarlo Devasini, who helped develop crypto exchange Bitfinex and is now its chief financial officer, owned about 43% of Tether in 2018 according to these documents. This was followed by CEO Jean-Louis van Der Velde and Chief Counsel Stuart Hoegner who each owned roughly 15%. The fourth major owner as of 2018 was a businessman with British and Thai citizenship known as Christopher Harborne in the U.K. and Chakrit Sakunkrit in Thailand; he controlled about 13%. Together, these four men owned approximately 86% through their own holdings and another related company.

Tether’s Reaction

When approached for comment on this story by the Wall Street Journal, Tether declined to provide any information regarding its ownership structure. A spokesperson also did not immediately respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment either. However Paolo Aordino – Chief Technology Officer at Bitfinex and Tether – took to Twitter after publication to describe it as “a clown article.”


This investigation has provided an insight into the previously unknown ownership structure behind one of crypto’s most important pieces or infrastructure: stablecoin issuer Tether’s USDT token. While those involved remain tight lipped on this topic officially; comments made online suggest that they are less than pleased with news outlets attempting to shed light on this matter