UPDATED | July 13, 2018:
On Friday morning, Kasper Rasmussen, head of marketing and communications for Bitfinex, reached out to ETHNews to explain what happened to Tether's previous chief compliance officer. "Matt Tremblay is still working at Tether although no longer in the capacity of chief compliance officer," he said.
ORIGINAL | July 12, 2018:
On Thursday, Tether Limited announced the hiring of Leonardo Real as its chief compliance officer. Before Tether, Real served as the AML quality control manager for the Bank of Montreal, according to his LinkedIn profile. He also had stints at companies called Bridgeforce Financial and Day Trade The World.
What's curious about Real's hiring is that the CCO position at Tether (and at Bitfinex) previously belonged to a gentleman named Matthew Tremblay, at least according to information available on Crunchbase.
Tremblay's name and likeness are no longer on the "about us" pages for Bitfinex or Tether. It's not clear whether he remains with either company or, if Tremblay left, what the circumstances were for his departure.
Readers may remember that in June, just days after a Tether "transparency update" claimed full reserves for its USDT, Bitfinex's chief strategy officer, Phil Potter, left the company. A few days later, Tether's printing press continued its odd activity. Many journalists and academics have raised concerns about Tether, wondering whether the cryptocurrency version of the US dollar is being used to artificially prop up the price of bitcoin.
These questions are particularly significant considering the CFTC's subpoena of Bitfinex and Tether in December as well as Bitfinex's sizeable trading volumes. At the time of writing, the exchange purports to facilitate the third-largest 24-hour volume of BTC/USD trade in the world, per CoinMarketCap.
Doubts are warranted, as the cryptocurrency community desperately pleas for transparency and appropriate oversight. This whole thing could go sideways, but Tether's latest announcement is a small act of good faith. "We are particularly excited to announce this key hire [Leonardo Real] at a seminal point in the life of the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector. As the industry matures, all actors within the space shall be expected to meet a higher standard of industry best practices." said Bitfinex CEO Jean-Louis van der Velde.
Van der Velde added, "As Tether continues to work to realise our vision of total transparency and unparallelled [sic] security within the cryptocurrency market, we will always endeavour to set the gold standard in regulatory compliance. Leonardo will play an important role in realising these aims, and we are very excited to welcome him aboard as we look forward to all that lies ahead."