Circle Executive Slams Terrorism Funding Claims

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  • Dante Disparte, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer, has formally responded to Campaign for Accountability’s allegations of terrorism funding
  • Disparte challenged accusations that Circle’s USDC stablecoin aids groups like Hamas
  • The CSO defended Circle’s integrity and rejected assertions of supporting terrorist financing

Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy, Dante Disparte, has issued a formal response to the Campaign for Accountability’s “false claims” regarding Circle’s alleged involvement in the funding of terrorism. The letter, addressed to Senators Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren, comes after the Campaign for Accountability told US lawmakers that Circle’s USDC stablecoin is a method through which the likes of Hamas raise funds and argues that it is “replete with errors, omissions, and misleading information.”

Disparate Points to Regulatory Compliance

Disparte refuted allegations made by the Campaign for Accountability, asserting that Circle does not engage in, directly or indirectly, or finance illicit actors like Hamas, adding that Circle does not have any banking ties with Justin Sun, and all accounts held by him and his affiliated entities were terminated in February 2023. The link to Sun comes after the Campaign for Accountability claimed that the Tron network is now the favored blockchain for terrorist groups, which Sun heads.

In the letter, Disparte highlighted Circle’s commitment to combating illicit financial activities, emphasizing that Circle “has always been an active partner of regulators and law enforcement” in the United States, Israel, and other jurisdictions to ensure that USDC remains untainted by any illicit activities.

Disparte underscored the company’s history of cooperation with law enforcement, citing recent recognition by the US Secret Service for its support in identifying instances of fraud and “pig-butchering” scams, leading to fund recoveries.

“Inaccurate and Misleading” Posts Criticized

Addressing specific incidents, Disparte refuted the Campaign for Accountability’s reliance on a report from blockchain firm Elliptic regarding a $93 million digital asset seizure order targeting the terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He also pointed out inaccuracies in claims that Circle financed major flows of funds to Hamas or Hezbollah:

Most importantly, public blockchain ledgers show that of the $93 million in digital assets wallets identified by the Israeli government, only $160 was transferred in USDC among those wallets, and none of that was acquired from Circle. It is both inaccurate and misleading for CfA to directly cite – without any corroboration or verification – posts on the social media site X asserting that Circle had financed major flows of funds to Hamas or Hezbollah.

Disparte ended his rebuttal by inviting Senators Brown and Warren to further discuss the matters raised in the letter, reaffirming Circle’s dedication to collaborating with regulators and lawmakers to enhance regulations in the digital assets space and combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

Terrorism funding has become the latest stick with which anti-crypto politicians have sought to beat the industry with, but their efforts to use statistics to bear out their claims have rarely stood up to scrutiny.