On April 9, during an appearance on Bloomberg TV, Dante Disparte, the Head of Global Policy at Circle, shared his insights on the Biden administration’s approach to managing the potential risks associated with cryptocurrency, particularly focusing on stablecoins and the broader implications for illicit financing. During his conversation with Bloomberg Crypto co-hosts Sonali Basak and Tim Stenovec, Disparte highlighted several critical points relevant to the cryptocurrency industry, regulatory landscape, and national security concerns.

Addressing Congressional Inaction

Disparte expressed frustration over what he perceives as congressional inaction in the face of the Biden administration’s proactive steps toward understanding and regulating the blockchain and digital asset space. Despite the administration’s issuance of an executive order calling for a comprehensive government study on digital assets, he notes a significant gap in legislative progress, which is crucial for equipping U.S. regulators and other authorities with the necessary tools and rules to govern the space effectively. This legislative inertia, according to Disparte, could leave the industry vulnerable to being defined by its worst actors.

Circle’s Compliance and Industry Standards

He took the opportunity to outline Circle’s commitment to regulatory compliance, emphasizing the company’s adherence to U.S. money transmission laws, anti-money laundering (AML) standards, counter-terrorism financing (CTF) measures, and sanctions. This level of compliance, Disparte suggests, sets a standard that could mitigate the risks of illicit activities if stablecoin legislation were advanced in the U.S.

Combatting Illicit Activities in Crypto

In response to concerns about illicit financing, such as state actors like North Korea and Russia using digital assets for nefarious purposes, Disparte urged a nuanced understanding of the term “crypto.” He argued that the term is neutral and should not be conflated with illicit activity. Instead, he emphasizes the importance of identifying and addressing the “bad actors” or problematic products within the ecosystem that may facilitate illegal transactions.

Disparte advocated for a model of “collective defense,” where industry stakeholders and regulators work together to enforce standards and prevent the misuse of digital assets. He referenced his own op-ed, coinciding with remarks from Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, to underline the argument that the issue is not cryptocurrency itself but the individuals and groups who exploit any financial system for illegal gains.

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