Circle CEO: US Stablecoin Legislation Is ‘Lowest-Hanging Fruit’
Jeremy Allaire, CEO of peer-to-peer payment company Circle, is expecting the U.S. Congress to concentrate on stablecoin regulation this year for a simple reason.
“Stablecoins are the lowest-hanging fruit,” Allaire told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” Thursday from the World Economic Forum’s annual conference in Davos, Switzerland. “It’s the most straightforward. It’s a foundational piece.”
Circle is the issuer of USD coin (USDC), a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar. There are over $43 billion worth of USDC tokens in circulation, according to Crypto.com, and it is the second-largest stablecoin by market cap, according to CoinMarketCap.
Allaire said USDC is a prime example of how stablecoin use is growing. Lawmakers, in the U.S. and abroad, are becoming aware of the “significant size and business” that stablecoins can provide. He predicted that this year stablecoin issuers are “going to be normalized in almost every major market.”
“What's happening is that members of Congress are realizing that they better get even more educated” about stablecoins, Allaire said.
"This is a live policy issue. This is not a put your head in the sand and hope it goes away" issue, he said.
A stablecoin is a type of cryptocurrency whose value is pegged to another asset class, such as a fiat currency or gold, to stabilize its price.
What’s next, according to Allaire, is that lawmakers may take a firmer position on stablecoins in different places around the world, adding that the G-20 countries and the U.S. are leading those regulatory efforts.
The Boston, Massachusetts-based tech firm, founded in 2013, continues to evolve as crypto’s ecosystem develops and grows, Allaire said.
He said his company has been around for the last decade because it “walks through the front door with regulators,” and aims to be up front with them.
“That culture of trust and transparency, that plays itself out, [and it] pays dividends,” Allaire said.
Nonetheless, the changes Circle has undergone are “like climbing a mountain,” he said.
“You’re going to go up one part and you’re going to be like, ‘[damn] there's a cliff, I don’t want to fall off, I gotta pivot, and go back down, and then I gotta go back up,’” Allaire said.
Read more: World Leaders Warmed to Blockchain at Davos This Year, Despite Crypto Winter / Opinion