Circle CEO sees ‘very good chance’ of stablecoin laws this year: Report

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Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire has expressed confidence that the United States will pass a much-anticipated stablecoin law in the country within the year.

“I think there’s momentum. I think there’s a very good chance of seeing this pass into law this year.”

Allaire made the comments in an interview with CNBC on Jan. 15 at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

“Digital dollars are happening around the world, other governments are regulating dollar-digital currencies before the United States. So I think there is a very strong desire to act and assert U.S. leadership and get the right consumer protections involved,” he said.

Allaire, who runs the firm behind stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), said he is seeing recent progress on this front from lawmakers, the courts, and regulators in the country.

“I remain optimistic that payments stablecoin policy is a possibility early in the new year. And that is increasingly a bipartisan reality, in no small measure,” added Dante Disparte, the firm’s chief strategy officer and global head of public policy to CNBC.

The Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act, introduced by U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry, is one of the more prominent stablecoin bills on the House and Senate’s to-review list. It aims to provide stablecoin issuers with a similar regulatory framework to traditional financiers.

The Stablecoin Transparency Act was also introduced into Congress on March 31, 2022, by Senator Bill Hagerty.

Meanwhile, Circle has pushed strongly for stablecoin legislation over the last few years. The firm began lobbying with strategic consulting firm Invariant in late 2021 and is estimated to have spent $760,000 on lobbying efforts since, according to ProPublica.

Following the recently approved and launched spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, Allaire is hopeful more regulatory developments will follow:

“It’s been a really powerful time for that and we think 2024, with things like the spot ETF and world regulatory clarity, is going to open this up even wider.”

Related: Wallets with USDC stablecoin grew by 59% in 2023 despite circulation drop

However, Disparte voiced that lawmakers may still be concerned with stablecoin use to facilitate criminal activity.

“You’ve seen in the conflict in the Middle East [with] the use of certain digital assets in the space as a vehicle for funding terrorism […] Domestically in the United States, you can see the use of certain assets in the space as a vehicle for funding fentanyl trafficking,” he said.

“Unless that is addressed, that would be against the interest of the country [and] the economy.”

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