Mike Dudas, founder of cryptocurrency news site The Block and once one of the strongest personalities on Crypto Twitter, is joining Paxos, the firm behind PayPal’s bitcoin-buying service.
Dudas will start on Feb. 9 as a vice president and head of stablecoin business development, according to a Paxos staff memo obtained by CoinDesk. He will be responsible for expanding the company’s white-label business, which issues fiat-backed cryptocurrencies on other firms’ behalf (much like Duracell makes the Kirkland brand batteries sold at Costco stores).
“Paxos operates in the business segment that attracted me to crypto in the first place – payments and money movement,” Dudas wrote in the memo. “I believe every human should have access to money that moves instantly, affordably, 24/7/365 on modern infrastructure with strong security and settlement assurances.”
The firm’s ItBit exchange has assumed greater prominence in recent months, in no small part because it is the backend that powers PayPal’s (PYPL) mainstream-friendly crypto service.
More directly relevant to Dudas’ role, Paxos issues PAX, the fifth-largest stablecoin by market capitalization (the fourth-largest, BUSD, was launched in partnership with Binance). Collateralized by real-world greenbacks held at FDIC-insured banks, the token runs on the Ethereum blockchain and others, allowing for speedy transfers. Crypto traders often use stablecoins to move money quickly between exchanges in order to take advantage of opportunities that might disappear if they waited for a bank wire to go through.
“Mike clearly knows his way around fintech and has the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that we love,” Walter Hessert, Paxos’ head of strategy and business development, wrote in the same memo.
As for his continued involvement in the world of crypto media, Dudas told Paxos staffers he will remain The Block’s non-executive chairman, “where I have not been involved in day-to-day operations since April 2020,” he wrote. “I have never and will never be involved with editorial decisions at The Block, including its past and ongoing coverage of Paxos.”
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.