It’s been described by experts as the great ‘crypto winter.’ In a matter of six months during the early half of 2022, a dramatic downward spiral shook up the market, wiping out $2 trillion in value, plunging retail investors into financial ruin, causing companies to lay-off thousands of employees, and bankrupting some of the industry’s biggest heavyweights.
Amid mounting fear over the future of digital currency, scrutiny is being placed on a new weak point in the cryptosphere: Tether.
Even in crypto’s freakish world of joke coins, overnight billionaires and scam artists, Tether stands out thanks to its incredibly curious origin.
It’s not the scheme of a savvy financial expert but rather the brainchild of an eccentric Disney child actor-turned-Bitcoin billionaire who loves EDM music and Pokemon, snorts Peruvian psychedelics — and — as one person described, ‘looks like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean and speaks in riddles, like Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’
His name is Brock Pierce. By the time he was in his 20s, the former kid star, now 41, had reinvented himself multiple times over and emerged as a crypto cult leader in the gonzo world of digital currency.
In the process, he’s played footsie with a wide range of unsavory characters, convicted felons, and D-list celebrities including Jeffrey Epstein, Steve Bannon, the rapper Akon, as well as the current Mayor of New York, Eric Adams (who controversially flew on Pierce’s private jet at the beginning of his term).