Circle appoints ex-CFTC and US Treasury executive as chief legal officer.

The stablecoin issuer Circle is taking measures to combat the ongoing regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrency. By July 1, they will have appointed Heath Tarbert as the chief legal officer and head of corporate affairs. Tarbert is a highly regarded attorney with experience in all three branches of the United States government.

According to an announcement made on June 8, Tarbert has held leadership positions in all three branches of the federal government and key regulatory agencies, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the U.S. Treasury, the Financial Stability Board, and the World Bank Group. He also served as special counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

1/ This morning, @circle announced that Heath Tarbert is joining us as Chief Legal Officer and Head of Corporate Affairs. Heath joins Circle from @citsecurities (Citadel Securities), was former @CFTC Chair, and worked in @USTreasury , the @WhiteHouse , the DOJ and @USSupremeCourt

— Jeremy Allaire (@jerallaire) June 8, 2023

Tarbert is joining Circle after serving nearly two years as the chief legal officer at Citadel Securities, where he oversaw global legal, compliance, surveillance, and regulatory affairs. He will be taking over from Flavia Naves, Circle’s general counsel, who reportedly announced her planned departure from the company earlier this year.

“The opportunity to welcome Heath’s expertise and leadership to our executive team is an extraordinary step in Circle’s growth as a global company,” said Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire.

Tarbert’s appointment comes at a time of renewed regulatory uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency in the United States. Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed lawsuits against cryptocurrency exchanges Blockchain and Binance on various charges. Since the FTX debacle last November, the crypto industry has been under regulatory scrutiny, which has negatively impacted businesses and pushed capital overseas.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Allaire attributed the decline in market capitalization of Circle’s stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to the crackdown on cryptocurrency by U.S. regulators. Over the past year, USDC’s stablecoin market share has dropped from 34.88% to 23.05%. The current regulatory environment in the U.S. has favored Tether (USDT), which has grown its market share to 65.89% from 47.04% a year ago.

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