Circle chief strategy officer (CSO) Dante Disparte wrote a letter to Senators Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren in response to claims surrounding the role of Circle in facilitating Hamas and other actors. In the letter, Circle makes sure to highlight two things: “Circle does not facilitate, directly or indirectly, or finance Hamas… Nor does Circle bank Justin Sun.”
On Justin Sun, Circle said that “Neither Mr. Sun nor any entity owned or controlled by Mr. Sun, including the TRON Foundation or Huobi Global, currently have accounts with Circle. To date, the U.S. government has not specifically designated Mr. Sun or his entities as Specially Designated Nationals. Nonetheless, Circle terminated all accounts held by Mr. Sun and his affiliated companies in February 2023.”
This seems to imply that Circle did serve Justin Sun or his companies up until February 2023.
Sun is a very important figure in the stablecoin ecosystem, receiving more Tether than any other individual. He’s had some struggles in his broader holdings, with Poloniex and HTX both needing to close withdrawals recently. HTX has decided to offer an “extraordinary token airdrop event to reward all our users” for bearing with the firm through this problem.
Furthermore, Circle decided to contrast itself with its largest competitor, Tether, stating, “CfA chose to ignore those facts and instead referenced Circle in the same sentence as Tether, whose eponymous stablecoin, USDT, has been documented on public blockchain ledgers as being used for large quantities in illicit finance…This attempt to muddy the waters between Circle and Tether is misleading and wrong.”
The CfA refers to the ‘Campaign for Accountability’ that made the claims about Circle facilitating Hamas and other actors.
Disparte has previously accused Tether of “counterfeiting the US dollar” and directed the blame back on lawmakers, pointing the finger at “US inaction on policy and regulation.” This was echoed again in the letter, where he claims “no other digital asset company has advocated more than Circle for a comprehensive federal framework to govern stablecoins.”
Despite these contrasts between Circle and Tether, Tether’s market-cap has continued to grow while Circle’s has shrank over the last year.