The Block Founder Mike Dudas Takes Stablecoin Role at Paxos

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.

Prior to founding The Block in 2018, Dudas worked in fintech at Google Wallet, Braintree/Venmo and PayPal, according to the memo. He also co-founded Button, a mobile commerce technology company, and worked at Disney, according to Crunchbase. Dudas stepped down as The Block CEO last spring.

“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.

A one-time CoinDesk sparring partner, Dudas hinted at the role Monday in a tweet that he later deleted, as is his wont and, it should be said, his prerogative. 

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.”