Circle Formally Refutes Allegations of Illicit Financing and Connections to Justin Sun

Circle, a leading issuer of stablecoins, has recently addressed and strongly refuted allegations regarding its involvement in illicit financing and alleged connections with Justin Sun, the founder of Tron. These claims, brought forward by the nonprofit watchdog organization, Campaign for Accountability (CfA), prompted Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Public Policy, Dante Disparte, to write a formal response to U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown.

In the letter, Disparte emphatically denies any involvement of Circle in facilitating or financing activities related to Hamas or any other illicit actors. He highlights Circle’s unwavering commitment to combating illicit financial activities. Circle has been an active partner with regulators and law enforcement in the United States, Israel, and other jurisdictions, ensuring that their stablecoin, USDC, is not used for illicit activities. The company’s dedication to legal compliance was recently acknowledged by the U.S. Secret Service, recognizing Circle’s efforts in identifying fraud and assisting in fund recovery.

Addressing specific allegations, Disparte referred to an incident where the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing of Israel identified digital wallets linked to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) with assets amounting to $93 million. A report by the blockchain firm Elliptic initially suggested that all assets in these wallets were used to finance PIJ, but this was later corrected. Public blockchain ledgers revealed that of the $93 million, only $160 in USDC was transferred among those wallets, and none of that amount originated from Circle. This example underscores Circle’s stance against the misrepresentation of its role in alleged illicit activities.

Furthermore, Circle clarified its relationship with Justin Sun, stating that it does not provide banking services to him or his associated entities, including the TRON Foundation or Huobi Global. Despite the absence of specific designations by the U.S. government, Circle terminated all accounts associated with Mr. Sun and his affiliated companies in February 2023.

Circle also emphasized its status as a highly regulated financial entity. It operates under the regulatory frameworks of multiple U.S. states and federal bodies, including the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Financial Institutions and the New York Department of Financial Services. As a Money Services Business registered with FinCEN, Circle adheres to the Bank Secrecy Act, anti-money laundering laws, and other regulatory standards. This regulatory compliance is a cornerstone of Circle’s operations, reflecting its commitment to legal and ethical business practices.

In its advocacy for regulatory reforms, Circle has been a vocal proponent for a comprehensive federal framework governing stablecoins. The firm has actively participated in legislative processes, seeking to establish robust reserving, redemption, disclosure, liquidity, and operational risk management standards for stablecoin issuers. Circle’s CEO, Jeremy Allaire, has testified before Congress, advocating for standards that would elevate the safety and reliability of stablecoin issuers.

Circle’s response to the allegations made by the CfA is a strong affirmation of its dedication to regulatory compliance and ethical practices in the digital assets space. The company remains committed to collaborating with regulatory bodies to enhance the regulation of digital asset markets and to combat money laundering and terrorism financing effectively.

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Circle Introduces Gas Station and Smart Contract Platform to Streamline Web3 Development

Circle, a global financial technology firm, has taken steps to simplify blockchain interactions for developers and businesses with the beta launch of two new Web3 Services products: Gas Station and Smart Contract Platform. These new services come as a follow-up to Circle’s recent Programmable Wallets offering. Gas Station aims to ease the cost burden associated with blockchain transactions for end users. Typically, Web3 users are required to pay a “gas fee” to conduct transactions on the blockchain. These fees have long been a point of friction for developers and businesses looking to integrate blockchain functionality into their apps.

Circle’s Gas Station allows those integrating their apps with Circle’s Programmable Wallets to offer a gasless transaction experience for users. Gagan Mac, Head of Product for Web3 Services at Circle, states that “With the launch of Gas Station, we are abstracting away blockchain transaction fees for end users… We’re reducing friction and making blockchain transactions more accessible to everyone.” This functionality currently supports Polygon on both its mainnet and testnet, and Ethereum on its testnet.

Working with smart contracts, which are fundamental to blockchain automation, often involves various operational challenges. These can include having to use different tools across various chains, and maintaining version control for live contracts. Circle’s Smart Contract Platform aims to overcome these barriers by providing a comprehensive suite for smart contract management. The platform uses REST APIs and offers a user-friendly interface, making it more accessible to traditional Web2 developers who may be unfamiliar with blockchain-specific languages like Solidity.

The platform allows for easier deployment and management of smart contracts, facilitating applications like NFT drops, DeFi experiences, and digital currency transactions. According to another media report, the Smart Contract Platform “gives developers the ability to deploy smart contracts by making use of a collection of pre-tested code templates and either a console or REST APIs.” It is available on Avalanche, Ethereum, and Polygon networks, and offers a “no-code” solution for deployment on Polygon.

Circle’s new Web3 Services products have the potential to significantly reduce the barriers to entry for both developers and end users in the blockchain ecosystem. For instance, the Singapore-based super app, Grab, is already piloting the Gas Station service to offer gas-free transactions involving non-fungible token (NFT) vouchers to its customers.

With these new services, Circle continues to broaden the scope and reduce the complexity of blockchain-based applications, aiming to make them as accessible and user-friendly as their Web2 counterparts.

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Circle Launches Native USDC on Polygon

USDC has been natively introduced on the Polygon Proof of Stake (PoS) network, eliminating the necessity for bridging. With this update, both developers and users can now access USDC directly on Polygon PoS. The integration is facilitated through full support from Circle Mint and Circle APIs, enhancing the ease of accessing USDC liquidity on the Polygon PoS network, known for its speed and cost efficiency.

Enhanced Accessibility and Efficiency

The Polygon PoS blockchain is recognized for its scalability, faster settlement times, and cost-effective transaction processing, acting as a complement to Ethereum’s decentralized security. With the new native USDC integration, businesses and developers can build applications on Polygon PoS that resonate with a wider audience due to near-instant transaction times and minimal costs. As of October 2023, the Polygon PoS ecosystem boasts over 475 decentralized applications (dApps) and more than 300,000 active wallet addresses. The integration of USDC on this platform opens up numerous possibilities including payments, remittances, trading, borrowing, and lending.

Bridged vs. Native USDC

Previously, a bridged form of USDC, referred to as USDC.e, was utilized on the Polygon PoS network, which required bridging from Ethereum. Unlike the newly launched native USDC, USDC.e was not officially issued by Circle. However, with the new native USDC, which is officially issued by Circle, users are assured of a stable foundation for their transactions, as it’s redeemable 1:1 for US dollars. Post November 10, support for deposits and withdrawals of bridged USDC.e on Polygon PoS via Circle Mint and its APIs will be discontinued, thereby endorsing the usage of native USDC over the bridged version.

This development is poised to empower exchanges, digital wallets, institutional traders, and developers with a myriad of use cases via the Circle Mint and Circle APIs. It enables globally accessible low-cost payments and remittances, 24/7 trading, borrowing, and lending on platforms like Aave, Uniswap, and Quickswap. Additionally, users can now hold savings in digital dollars without requiring a traditional bank account, fostering financial inclusivity.

In a subsequent phase, Circle plans to introduce a cross-chain transfer protocol to Polygon, enhancing interoperability with other blockchain networks. This move is projected to facilitate transfers of Polygon-based USDC to and from the Ethereum blockchain, broadening the spectrum of USDC utility across blockchain networks.

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Coinbase Secures Major Payment Institution License from Singapore’s Monetary Authority

Coinbase Singapore announced on October 1, 2023, that it has obtained a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This license follows the company’s initial “In Principle Approval” and signifies Coinbase’s commitment to the Singaporean market. The license allows Coinbase to expand its digital payment token services to both individuals and institutions in the country.

Coinbase is not the first company to secure an MPI license from MAS. In early June, Circle announced its receipt of an MPI license, followed by, which made its announcement on August 7 after receiving the license on August 1. also joined the ranks on June 1. These companies are authorized to provide digital payment token services to institutional and accredited investors in Singapore, highlighting the competitive and regulated landscape of the crypto market in the city-state.

Singapore has emerged as a significant player in the crypto and Web3 space. According to surveys, 25% of Singaporeans view cryptocurrency as the future of finance, and 32% are either current or past crypto owners. The city-state is also home to over 700 Web3 companies, making it a crucial market for the growth of the crypto and Web3 economy.

Coinbase has been proactive in tailoring its offerings to the Singaporean market. Earlier this year, the company introduced convenient funding options like PayNow and FAST bank transfers. It also integrated SingPass, Singapore’s trusted digital identity system, to streamline the onboarding process. Additionally, Coinbase introduced no-fee purchases of USDC with Singapore Dollars (SGD).

Coinbase has also been active in forming partnerships and making investments in the region. The company has collaborated with local developer communities and key partners like, Blockdaemon, and Infura. Over 15 of Coinbase’s investments through Coinbase Ventures are rooted in Singapore. The company has also been involved in training and hiring initiatives at its Singapore tech hub.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is a significant regulatory partner for Coinbase. The newly acquired license is not just an approval but represents a shared commitment between Coinbase and MAS to support and grow the local crypto and Web3 community.

Coinbase’s acquisition of the MPI license from MAS is a significant development that underscores the company’s strategic focus on Singapore as a vital market. It also reflects the broader trend of international markets crafting innovative policies to emerge as crypto hubs. With this license, Coinbase not only validates its operations but also takes on a promise and responsibility to the growing crypto and Web3 community in Singapore. The license places Coinbase in a competitive but regulated landscape, alongside other key players like Circle,, and, further emphasizing the importance of regulatory compliance in the rapidly evolving crypto market.

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Paradigm Challenges SEC’s Authority in Lawsuit Against Binance

On September 29, 2023, Paradigm filed an amicus brief in the ongoing lawsuit between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange. Paradigm is not an investor in Binance and has no direct financial interest in the lawsuit’s outcome. However, the firm believes that the SEC’s actions represent a form of government overreach that could have significant implications for the broader financial and crypto markets.

The SEC initiated legal action against Binance in June 2023, accusing the exchange of multiple violations of securities laws. These include operating without the necessary licenses and registrations as an exchange, broker-dealer, or clearing agency. The SEC’s investigation into Binance began in May 2023. In its amicus brief, Paradigm argues that the SEC is attempting to change existing laws without adhering to the established rulemaking process, thereby acting outside its regulatory scope.

Paradigm’s brief raises several critical points that challenge the SEC’s interpretation of securities law. The firm argues that the SEC’s expansive interpretation of “investment contract” could bring a wide range of asset sales under the purview of securities laws. Paradigm also highlights flaws in the SEC’s application of the Howey test, a legal standard used to determine what constitutes a security.

Circle, a stablecoin services company specializing in blockchain technology, has also been brought into the legal battle between Binance and the SEC as well. Circle argues that stablecoins, a type of cryptocurrency designed to maintain a stable value, should not be treated as securities, adding another dimension to the ongoing case.

Paradigm emphasizes that regulatory gaps do exist in the crypto sector and that it is Congress’s responsibility to fill these gaps. This perspective aligns with SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s Congressional testimony, where he acknowledged the SEC’s limitations in regulating crypto secondary markets.

Paradigm’s amicus brief serves as a significant counterpoint to the SEC’s actions against Binance and other crypto exchanges. By challenging the SEC’s authority and interpretation of securities law, Paradigm adds a layer of complexity to an already intricate legal landscape. The firm’s stance could potentially influence how securities laws are applied to the crypto industry in the future.

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Circle Partners With Grab for Web3 Pilot in Singapore

Circle Internet Financial (Circle), a global fintech firm, is joining forces with Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading super app, to pilot Web3 customer experiences in Singapore. This collaboration will see the integration of Circle’s new Web 3 Services platform directly into the Grab app, marking a significant step in the adoption of blockchain technology in the region.

Dubbed the ‘Grab Web3 Wallet’, this feature will be available exclusively to Singapore-based users. It promises a seamless experience where users can establish a blockchain-enabled wallet, paving the way for them to earn unique rewards, collect digital collectibles, and utilize non-fungible token (NFT) vouchers. As a starting point, the Grab Web3 Wallet will support the SG Pitstop Pack NFT vouchers, which can be redeemed at select stores and experiences in Singapore, timed perfectly with the buzz of the upcoming F1 Singapore Grand Prix.

The significance of this pilot goes beyond just a partnership between two tech giants. It aligns squarely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Project Orchid initiative. This initiative is a testament to Singapore’s commitment to exploring the potential of digital currencies and blockchain technology in real-world applications, aptly named Purpose Bound Money.

Jeremy Allaire, Co-founder and CEO of Circle, commented on the partnership, emphasizing its broader implications: “Circle is focused on partnering with global-scale consumer internet brands to bring everyday utility to users. Piloting our technology with Grab’s vast customer base brings us closer to realizing the full potential of responsible digital assets innovation.”

Circle’s Web3 Services are not just a new product offering. They represent a bridge between the current internet ecosystem (Web 2.0) and the emerging decentralized web (Web3). By facilitating the integration of stablecoins, digital assets, and smart contracts into consumer and enterprise applications, Circle is positioning itself as a leader in the transition to Web3.

Singapore has been a focal point for Circle in recent months. In June 2023, the company secured a Major Payment Institution (MPI) License from the MAS, reinforcing its commitment to the region. This was followed by the inauguration of its Singapore office in May. Earlier in the year, Circle made headlines by partnering with Tribe, Singapore’s first government-endorsed blockchain ecosystem developer. This collaboration aimed to foster and upscale the local Web3 developer talent, further solidifying Singapore’s position as a global hub for blockchain innovation.

In an era where digital transformation is more than just a buzzword, collaborations like these underscore the tangible shifts in the financial and tech landscapes. As Circle and Grab venture into this pilot, the eyes of the tech world will undoubtedly be watching, anticipating the ripple effects this could send across the industry.

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Native USDC Integration on Base Blockchain

Circle has announced the upcoming launch of native USDC on the Base blockchain. The announcement, part of Circle’s #StableSeptember series, outlines the benefits and implications of this integration for both developers and users.

Key Takeaways

– Native USDC will be the “official form” of USDC for the Base ecosystem.

– The token aims to replace the currently circulating bridged USDbC liquidity originating from Ethereum.

– Native USDC will be “fully reserved and always redeemable 1:1 for US dollars,” according to Circle’s official blog.

– The launch will facilitate institutional on/off-ramps.

The Official Form of USDC

According to the official blog post from Circle, native USDC issued by Circle will be considered the “official form” of USDC within the Base ecosystem. The token address for this native USDC is 0x833589fCD6eDb6E08f4c7C32D4f71b54bdA02913. This move is expected to gradually shift liquidity from the bridged USDbC token, which has its roots in Ethereum and holds the token address 0xd9aAEc86B65D86f6A7B5B1b0c42FFA531710b6CA.

Liquidity and Transition

The blog post also mentions that over time, native USDC liquidity “may replace” the currently circulating bridged USDbC liquidity. Base will collaborate with ecosystem apps to offer a smooth, optional transition from USDbC to native USDC. Importantly, there will be “no immediate changes to Base Bridge,” which will continue to operate as usual.

Institutional On/Off-Ramps

One of the key benefits cited is the enablement of institutional on/off-ramps. While the blog does not delve into specifics, the 1:1 redeemability for US dollars suggests a level of stability and trust that could attract institutional investors.

Upcoming Launch Details

Details about the launch, including the ecosystem apps that will support the swap from USDbC to native USDC, will be shared by @BuildOnBase on the launch day. A tweet from Coinbase confirmed that both native and bridged USDC will “continue to coexist on Base.”

Summary of Coinbase’s Base Network

Base, incubated within Coinbase, is an Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) network designed to offer a secure, cost-effective, and developer-friendly environment for building on-chain applications. Launched on February 23, 2023, in testnet phase, Base is developed in collaboration with Optimism and is built on the open-source OP Stack. It aims to provide enhanced scalability, faster transaction speeds, and reduced gas fees, all while maintaining the security measures of Ethereum’s mainnet. Base also offers seamless integration with Coinbase’s ecosystem, giving developers access to 110 million verified users and over $80 billion in assets. Despite rumors, Coinbase has clarified that they do not currently plan to issue a new network token for Base; ETH will serve as the native gas token.

Implications and Future Outlook

The integration of native USDC into the Base ecosystem could have far-reaching implications. It not only offers a more stable and official stablecoin option but also potentially streamlines transactions and lowers costs. As #StableSeptember unfolds, more details are expected to emerge, shedding light on how this move will shape the Base ecosystem and beyond.

In summary, the upcoming native USDC launch on Base is a noteworthy development in the stablecoin arena, offering benefits like enhanced liquidity and institutional access. As the launch date approaches, all eyes will be on how this integration impacts the Base ecosystem and the stablecoin market at large.

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Circle Launches Programmable Wallets for Developers

Circle, a prominent financial technology company, has announced the launch of Programmable Wallets, a new product designed to bridge the gap between the traditional internet and blockchain networks. The announcement was made on Circle’s official blog.

Key Details

Purpose: Programmable Wallets aim to simplify the development of crypto-enabled applications by abstracting complexities such as private key security, blockchain node operations, transaction management, and interoperability across blockchains.

Target Audience: The product is designed for developers, enabling them to embed secure crypto wallets in any application and leverage the speed and global reach of Web3 technology.

Features: The core features of Programmable Wallets include user-controlled wallets, developer-controlled wallets, REST APIs, iOS and Android SDKs, webhooks, a wallet operations dashboard, multiparty computation (MPC) cryptographic security, and blockchain agnosticism. More features, such as Gas Abstraction and Smart Contract Wallets, are expected in the coming months.

Pricing: The pricing model is described as “Pay-as-you-grow,” with a rebate on USDC usage, starting at $0.05 per Monthly Active Wallet.

Context and Background

The launch of Programmable Wallets comes as part of Circle’s ongoing efforts to improve user experience with blockchains. Since the launch of USDC, the Open Source digital dollar APIs in 2018, Circle has been working to deliver infrastructure that enhances the blockchain experience. USDC is now in use on multiple networks, and Circle has also unveiled the Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP) to enable USDC to flow natively across blockchains. 

Circle’s most well-known stablecoin, USDC, is the fifth largest digital asset and  well-used in the crypto world. USDC plays a vital role in the crypto ecosystem, providing a stable asset for traders who need to quickly enter and exit trades.

Programmable Wallets offer flexibility to developers, allowing them to choose the right security controls and customize the wallet experience according to their use case. Over 4,000 businesses are already building with USDC, and Programmable Wallets are expected to further increase customer satisfaction while maintaining security and usability.


Circle’s launch of Programmable Wallets represents a significant step in simplifying the development of blockchain-powered apps. By offering a wide range of features and flexibility, Programmable Wallets are poised to expedite the adoption of crypto-enabled applications. The product’s beta version is available for businesses, developers, and builders, and interested parties can sign up through Circle’s Web3 Services Developer Console.

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Job Cuts at Circle and Dapper Labs: Bear Market Not Over

Even the crypto giants are not immune to market pressures. Recent reports have highlighted significant workforce reductions at two major blockchain companies, Circle and Dapper Labs, despite their substantial fundraising successes.

Circle, a leading stablecoin issuer, has recently reduced its workforce slightly to maintain a “strong balance sheet”. The company has raised a total of $1.1 billion in funding over 11 rounds, with the latest funding raised on April 12, 2022, from a Private Equity round.

Despite this financial backing, the company has found it necessary to reduce or end investments in non-core activities and reduce operational expenses, which includes a marginal reduction in headcount. However, Circle continues to identify new areas for investment and hire in key areas of focus on a global basis.

Similarly, Dapper Labs, known for developing popular NFT collectibles such as CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, has announced its third round of staff layoffs in less than a year as a reflection of the broader slump in the crypto and NFT markets.

The company has let go of 51 employees, representing around 12% of the company’s staff. This comes despite Dapper Labs raising a total of $612.5 million in funding over seven rounds, with the latest funding raised on November 21, 2022.

Although Bitcoin price has been above $30,000 for nearly 20 days and some traders have anticipated a bull market, the workforce reductions at both Dapper Labs and Circle remind us of the ongoing challenges in the crypto market overall and the bearish market is not over yet.

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Circle CEO Expects Yuan-Backed Stablecoins Despite China’s Crypto Ban

According to SCMP, despite the stringent ban on cryptocurrencies in mainland China, Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder and CEO of Circle, a leading operator of the USDC stablecoin, foresees a significant role for yuan-backed stablecoins in the global crypto market.

In a recent statement at the Converge22 conference in San Francisco, Allaire acknowledged China’s reluctance to open up to cryptocurrencies. Despite this, he believes that stablecoins could be instrumental in achieving Beijing’s goal of yuan internationalisation.

Circle has expressed optimism about Hong Kong’s efforts to regulate stablecoins, considering Asia as its largest non-US market. This move could potentially pave the way for a more regulated and secure environment for stablecoin transactions, which could, in turn, boost the adoption of yuan-backed stablecoins.

While the ban in mainland China poses challenges, it also opens up opportunities for the growth of stablecoins, particularly those backed by the yuan. As China continues to assert its digital currency ambitions, the potential for yuan-backed stablecoins to contribute to the internationalisation of the yuan becomes increasingly apparent.

Allaire’s insights highlight the evolving landscape of the crypto market in Asia and the potential strategic role of yuan-backed stablecoins. As the crypto industry continues to evolve, the interplay between regulatory frameworks, market dynamics, and technological innovation will be crucial in shaping the future of digital currencies.


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