Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle, a prominent cryptocurrency firm behind the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, expressed confidence that the United States will enact stablecoin legislation within the year.
In an interview at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Allaire stated there is growing momentum and bipartisan support for regulating stablecoins.
U.S. desire for leadership in digital dollar space
Jeremy Allaire highlighted the global shift towards digital currencies and the need for the United States to assert its leadership in this emerging field. He noted that other countries are already taking steps to regulate digital versions of their currencies, and the U.S. should follow suit to protect consumers and maintain its competitive edge.
“Digital dollars are happening worldwide; other governments are regulating dollar-digital currencies before the United States. So I think there is a strong desire to act and assert U.S. leadership and get the right consumer protections involved,” Allaire emphasized.
Circle’s CEO optimistic about regulatory progress
Allaire’s optimism stems from recent developments in the U.S. regulatory landscape. He mentioned that lawmakers, the courts, and regulators are progressing in understanding and addressing the challenges of stablecoins.
Additionally, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer and Global Head of Public Policy, Dante Disparte, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the bipartisan support for stablecoin regulation.
“I remain optimistic that payments stablecoin policy is possible early in the new year. And that is increasingly a bipartisan reality,” said Dante Disparte.
Key stablecoin bills in Congress
Two significant bills related to stablecoin regulation are currently under review in the U.S. Congress. The first is the “Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act,” introduced by U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry. This bill establishes a regulatory framework for stablecoin issuers like traditional financial institutions.
The second bill, the “Stablecoin Transparency Act,” was introduced by Senator Bill Hagerty on March 31, 2022. It also seeks to address the regulatory aspects of stablecoins in the U.S. financial system.
Circle’s advocacy for stablecoin legislation
Circle has been at the forefront of advocating for stablecoin regulation in recent years. The company initiated lobbying efforts in late 2021 in collaboration with the strategic consulting firm Invariant.
According to ProPublica, Circle has invested approximately $760,000 in lobbying activities to support the development of stablecoin legislation.
Concerns about criminal activity
While the push for stablecoin legislation gains momentum, lawmakers still have concerns about the potential misuse of stablecoins for illicit purposes. Dante Disparte highlighted examples of digital assets being used to fund terrorism in the Middle East and to facilitate fentanyl trafficking within the United States.
Addressing these concerns is crucial to ensure the safety and security of the country’s economy.
“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,” Disparte emphasized.