Circle CEO questioned by House committee on crypto issues
Fintech company Circle’s CEO Jeremy Allaire and other cryptocurrency industry executives testified before the US Congress today.
Circle International Bermuda Limited, a Circle subsidiary, was the first company to achieve a full licence under Bermuda’s Digital Asset Business Act.
Mr Allaire told a House committee that Circle’s USDC stablecoin was fully backed by the US dollar and short-term government debt.
He was addressing a committee question about the company's recent change in the make-up of the digital coin's reserves.
He confirmed to members of the House Financial Services Committee that the reserves that back USDC are held in cash and short-duration US Treasuries. Circle made the change earlier this year.
The hearing was to discuss a wide range of issues about the $2.4 trillion cryptocurrency market.
Mr Allaire said that the company had always been within the permissible investment rules of money-transmission statutes.
He was one of the executives representing six leading cryptocurrency companies who sought clearer industry regulations from Congress rather than those existing today. They proposed that there were risks from over-burdensome restrictions.
Reuters reported that as lawmakers treated the hearing primarily as a fact-finding exercise, analysts thought it unlikely that Congress would make new crypto rules anytime soon.
The panel chairwoman, Democratic Representative Maxine Waters, said there were questions about proper oversight. She singled out Facebook's stablecoin plans as a big concern, given the company's huge global reach.
Reuters said: “Some lawmakers, in particular Republicans, praised the executives for leading the way on what could be a pivotal technology.”
Representative Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican, said: "I am tremendously impressed. I see a lot of ingenuity, a lot of entrepreneurial spirit. We need to be supportive of you."
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.