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Circle CEO Allaire Calls FTX Crisis Crypto's 'Lehman Brothers' Moment

Cointime Staff· 3 min read

Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of Circle, said the FTX insolvency crisis, which has thrown the crypto market into turmoil, is the "Lehman Brothers" moment for crypto.

Allaire said on Twitter:

1/ Some initial reflections on the FTX and Binance situation, and what impact we think this has on Circle, USDC and crypto more generally. These are fresh thoughts and will evolve. First, seeing a major industry peer and their loyal customer base impacted like this is god awful.

2/ This entire market cycle (down), has given us many opportunities to reflect on deep issues in the market. Lack of transparency, lack of counter-party visibility, and project treasuries and balance sheets anchored in speculative tokens are root causes.

3/ An inordinate amount of the "value created" during the past bull market was almost entirely speculative in nature, and the focus on utility often an afterthought, or entirely nonexistent.

4/ At the same time, and as noted by @brian_armstrong, a lack of clear regulatory guidelines in US has ultimately encouraged users and projects to take more risks, and do that from offshore.

5/ Indeed, the offshore regulatory arbitrage has spawned global hydra companies without a known base, who often act with impunity. If US policy makers don't get their act together, the outcomes will be worse.

6/ For Circle, we have always tried to operate with a great deal of trust and transparency. We've been regulated in many parts of the world starting from 2014. We've sought to build a culture of compliance and strong risk management and regulatory engagement

7/ Our leading product, USDC, is regulated, fully backed by US government treasury bonds and cash, with detailed transparency, and entrusted with the leading asset managers and custodians in the world.

8/ More importantly, our focus has always been on how we can harness crypto and blockchains to increase the utility value of money, and build a financial system that is more open, inclusive, transparent and accessible to all.

9/ It's imperative that we decidedly move on from the speculative value phase of crypto to the utility value phase, and that's got to be anchored in radically more open and transparent practices.

10/ The good news is that the foundations that have been built with crypto infrastructure and public chains give us the building blocks to now re-make financial services with radically more transparency than we've ever known.

11/ I am hopeful that as an industry we can move in earnest towards more and more activity happening on DeFi and on-chain structures. To do that, we need verifiable crypto-provable identity, as well as dramatically better on-chain privacy tech.

12/ The building blocks are there; hopefully these CeFi crises don't poison the well for the distributed and decentralized future, and policy makers act swiftly but carefully, which can be a huge unlock for the world.

13/ But we shouldn't all just crow about enforcement actions -- there needs to be accountability for blatant fraud as well as manipulative and anti-competitive market conduct. Markets and users are being hurt.

14/ As the industry takes stock, I am hopeful that the focus will begin to shift towards building durable, high-utility products that are designed to function on open, on-chain infrastructure.

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