The issuer of the second-largest stablecoin USDC, Circle, has announced former Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Heath Tarbert as the firm’s new Chief Legal Officer. The move comes a few days after the US Securities and Exchange Commission labeled USDC’s rival, BUSD, security.
As per Circle’s announcement, Tarbert will assume office on July 1. The law expert currently works for Citadel Securities as head of corporate affairs.
Before becoming the Chair of CFTC, Tarbert held titles in other US government organizations, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), Senate Banking Committee (SBC), the White House, the Supreme Court, and the Treasury Department.
What Circle CEO Expects From Tarbert
Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said in an interview with Forbes that Tarbert’s appointment would help the company achieve its ambition of becoming compliant with the complex regulations adopted by various countries.
Since USDC lost its dollar peg earlier this year, Allaire has been one of the many crypto players advocating for clear stablecoin regulations in the United States, arguing that a comprehensive legal framework can help prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
According to data from CoinGecko, USDC has lost over $14 billion to net outflows since the depegging event. Its market cap currently stands at $28.1 billion. The Circle’s stablecoin depegged when Silicon Valley Bank, which was holding its reserves, collapsed in March. At the time, Allaire said it was ironic that the American regulators had been warning financial institutions to avoid dealing in crypto, claiming it was unstable. Yet, it was those banks that threatened the stability of digital assets.
Meanwhile, the SEC didn’t mention USDC in its lawsuit against Coinbase, the company that worked with Circle to develop the stablecoin’s technology. It is worth highlighting that Coinbase was the first crypto exchange to list USDC when it launched in 2018.
Tarbert’s appointment comes at a time when Circle is spending thousands of dollars to lobby American policymakers into monitoring regulatory proposals related to stablecoins. ProPublica data shows Circle’s spending in relation to this matter has reached $200,000 since the start of the year. Allaire says Tarbert’s experience as a former boss of a regulatory agency will help to foster healthy relationships with lawmakers.
Glassnode Report Shows USDC Holders Are Selling Their Holdings
Meanwhile, a suspicious incident took place on Thursday, as reported by blockchain analytics firm Glassnode. The company revealed that over 14,000 wallets sold their entire USDC holdings within a six-hour timeframe that day. Glassnode said such scenarios had happened only thrice, including when the Terra ecosystem collapsed in May 2022, when USDC depegged this year, and when crypto exchange FTX collapsed in November.
However, the company was unsure of what caused the USDC holders to sell their holdings.
Further, Glassnode also noticed that the number of wallets holding USDT grew significantly on Thursday, suggesting that USDC holders had converted their tokens to its rival.
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