Circle Co-Founder: 'It's Critical' Crypto Companies Use Open Standards to Develop Compliant Products

Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder of Circle Internet Financial, a Boston, Massachusetts-based finance company “built on blockchain technology and powered by cryptoassets,” has argued that as the crypto market continues to grow and evolve, there will likely be increased stablecoin adoption.

"Thinking About A Standard For How Fiat Money Works"

Allaire, a former CTO at Macromedia (now acquired by Adobe Inc.), believes stablecoins will eventually start using an open-source or open standards approach to development. Allaire’s comments came during a recent interview on Fortune’s “Balancing the Ledger” in which he noted:

[Facebook’s reported plans are] very, very positive in our view overall. The approach that we have taken is to create a consortium model. When we think about a standard for how fiat money works on the internet, it’s really critical that it’s an open standard that many companies can implement, that has a self-governance mechanism — [which specifies] a technical standard as well as a membership framework.

Commenting on Circle’s initial business strategy, which involves focusing on regulated cryptocurrency products, Allaire said:

[When] we acquired [crypto exchange] Poloniex, we knew we wanted to get into the regulated sphere of issuing securities and enabling investors on the internet to invest in securities but doing it in a highly compliant way.

Allaire went on to give the example of Seed Invest, which has developed a crowdfunding platform that has already helped “hundreds of companies raise hundreds of millions of dollars” in startup capital. The chairman of Circle Internet Financial also noted that “by issuing securities over the internet, marketing them to investors over the internet, and letting both accredited investors and non-accredited investors invest in [various] companies.”

Circle Experienced "Very Significant Growth Last Year"

Last year, Circle had introduced its own 1-to-1 USD-backed stablecoin called USD Coin (USDC) through the Consortium Centre, which includes San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase and crypto mining hardware manufacturer, Bitmain as its members. Notably, USDC’s open source protocol and open network are also called Consortium. As explained by its developers, the Consortium protocol has been designed to enable interoperability between different blockchain platforms - in order to make it easier for other projects to contribute to USDC’s ongoing development.

In May 2018, Bitmain had led Circle’s $110 million funding round - which was aimed at raising funds for the American fintech’s USDC project. After the successful fundraiser, Circle’s private valuation had been reported at about $3 billion. However, Circle’s management has not released any recent financial figures - which could have been impacted by the prolonged crypto bear market. Despite several crypto firms laying off many of their staff members and scaling back their operations, Allaire told Fortune that his firm had experienced “very significant growth year last year.”