‘I’m a big fan’: Cantor Fitzgerald CEO praises Tether and Bitcoin

Howard Lutnick, CEO of Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald, praised stablecoin issuer Tether (USD), describing himself as a "big fan" of the company.

"I'm a big fan of this stablecoin called Tether... I hold their treasuries. So I hold their treasuries, and they have a lot of treasuries," Lutnick saying in a Dec. 11 interview with CNBC.

"It's over $90 billion now, so I'm a big fan of Tether," said CEO Cantor Fitzgerald.

In particular, Cantor Fitzgerald has been helping manage Tether's multi-billion dollar Treasury portfolio for several years, even though many Wall Street firms avoid cryptocurrency businesses, particularly in the after the Silicon Valley bank crisis.

On February 10 report The Wall Street Journal said the partnership between Cantor and Tether began in late 2021, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Cantor Fitzgerald is one of the few brokerage firms that can trade Treasury bonds, along with Charles Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard.

Other large financial institutions have been reluctant to provide services to Tether. Wells Fargo stopped processing Tether wire transfers as a correspondent for its Taiwanese accounts in 2017.

Despite being the largest stablecoin by market capitalization, Tether continues to be criticized for its lack of transparency regarding its reserves. It recently performed poorly in the S&P Global report. stablecoin stability assessment with the second lowest ranking among eight stablecoins pegged to the US dollar.

The assessment took into account asset management, audits, risk appetite, primary market redemption, secondary market payment pathways, and the company's history of maintaining its peg to the US dollar. company.

Despite caution around its long-term stability, Lutnick suggested that Tether could be beneficial for countries that are collapsing their currencies like Argentina, whose new president, Bitcoin-friendly Javier Milei, has pledged to abolish the country's central bank and transition to the US dollar.

Related: Former Cantor Execs Launch Crypto Lending Platform Awaiting Bitcoin ETFs

Similar thoughts were echoed by James Check, lead on-chain analyst at blockchain analytics firm Glassnode, who referred to Tether as “the CBDC” that will be controlled by the United States but could also be increasingly trusted by investors. developing countries seeking to dollarize.

Lutnick also likes Bitcoin

The CEO initially claimed he was a “cryptocurrency fan,” but then backtracked to offer more specific praise for Bitcoin.

"These other coins, they are not a thing [...] “They are kind of a fantasy: maybe Ethereum is okay.”

Lutnick cited Bitcoin's halving cycles and its lack of a centralized entity as two of the main reasons he sees value in holding it.

“The only asset that people could have had that no one could take away? bitcoin [...] It’s uncontrollable,” Lutnick said. “With Tether, you can call Tether and they will freeze it. With Ethereum, you can call Joe Lublin.”

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