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Allaire says crypto talks with Congress were a big success

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire has declared Wednesday’s hearing before the US Congress as “a turning point in policy engagement”.

The founder, chairman and CEO of Circle Internet Financial was among six cryptocurrency executives who appeared before the US House Committee on Financial Services for a hearing entitled “Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Understanding the Challenges and Benefits of Financial Innovation in the United States”.

His company’s subsidiary, Circle International Bermuda Limited, was the first to achieve a full licence under Bermuda’s Digital Asset Business Act.

Wednesday’s five-hour hearing addressed a wide range of issues about the $2.4 trillion cryptocurrency market.

Mr Allaire later took to his Twitter account to thank committee chairwoman Maxine Waters, the Democrat from California, together with Republican Patrick McHenry, and other committee members “for a highly engaged, full member participation hearing! Huge accomplishment”.

He added: “Some of the quick reads I've seen from media coverage does not reflect, I think, what we all felt from the conversations. Crypto, stablecoins, and markets are not partisan issues.

“The level of engagement was high, and members were taking this very seriously.

“Very thoughtful questions on so many issues from so many members, across the aisle. There was a real commitment to engaging and understanding.

“I'm more encouraged than I have ever been about Congress engaging on crypto, and there seems to be a genuine desire to consider and address many of the critical issues, but NOT a rush to judgment.

“It was also encouraging to see the aligned perspective from many that testified, and a consistent view about the need for risk-appropriate, clear and direct rule-making that considers what is unique about digital assets and stablecoins.

“In some respects, I think this was a turning point in policy engagement for this critical area of economic infrastructure. More to come, I am sure.”

Cryptocurrencies will be under the US government spotlight again next week.

Tuesday’s meeting of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs is entitled “Stablecoins: How Do They Work, How Are They Used, and What Are Their Risks?”

Mr Allaire told the House committee that Circle’s USDC stablecoin was fully backed by the US dollar and short-term government debt.

He was responding to a question about the company's change earlier this year in the make-up of the digital coin's reserves.

He confirmed that the USDC is backed by reserves held in cash and short-duration US Treasuries.

The rapid growth of cryptocurrencies and in particular stablecoins — digital assets pegged to traditional currencies — has caught the attention of regulators, who fear they could put the financial system at risk, if not properly monitored.

Cryptocurrency companies want improved industry regulations, arguing that burdensome restrictions bring risks.

Friend of Bermuda: Jeremy Allaire, Circle's CEO, with David Burt, the Premier, during a visit to the island (File photograph supplied)

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Published December 10, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated December 11, 2021 at 8:09 am)

Allaire says crypto talks with Congress were a big success

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