Banking

Circle adds Facebook Diem vet to bring its stablecoin into mainstream

The crises of the past year have heightened awareness of technology that can deliver funds faster, giving early movers a chance to demonstrate real-word use cases for faster payments.

The Boston-based blockchain company Circle has hired Dante Disparte, the former vice president of the Facebook-affiliated Diem Association, to help drive Circle’s global expansion as Circle adds blockchain and stablecoin products designed to bring more online marketplaces into its network and push mainstream usage.

It’s a loss for Diem, which is preparing its launch following two years of regulatory pressure and readjustments. In joining Circle as chief strategy officer and head of global policy, Disparate is on board with an active stablecoin that is already expanding quickly.

“In the last 24 months [at Diem] I have had nothing short of a global conversation around the nexus of technology, payments and compliance and the case for innovation in the movement of money,” Disparite said.

“In the last 24 months [at Diem] I have had nothing short of a global conversation around the nexus of technology, payments and compliance and the case for innovation in the movement of money,” said Dante Disparte, who joins Circle from Diem, formerly the Facebook-affiliated Libra.

Circle’s three-year old stablecoin, USDC, has handled more than $500 billion in payments in the past 12 months, and has expanded to about 12 billion coins in circulation.

Circle also recently added Visa as a partner. Visa will support USDC for the card brand’s global platform and merchant network, and Circle’s account and API users can access a stablecoin payout on a range of Visa’s partner wallets. This brings crypto payments closer to e-commerce marketplaces since it helps sellers identify USDC wallets that accept Visa cards.

“It’s a reflection of my own transition. Circle is an operating company and has mass adoption of digital currencies and operations for blockchain,” Disparate said, adding he will engage with Circle’s leadership team, regulators and partners. “My role here is to build on that momentum and success and start to plant the Circle flag around the world.”

Circle in March launched a service to support non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces and storefronts, and plans to add features in the coming months that will support USDC, bitcoin, ethereum payments for NFTs as well as custodial and yield generating accounts for NFT operators. In late 2020, Circle added Digital Dollar Accounts, or an open toolkit to create crypto and stablecoin accounts to support business tasks beyond payments, such as workflows and digital ledgers.

Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle

“CBDCs are a set of ideas today. The reality is digital currencies and electronic money movement has been driven by the private sector and there’s no reason to think that won’t be the case here,” said Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle.

This mix of technology is designed to ease deployment for firms that have traditionally not engaged in digital commerce, or markets that have been traditionally underserved by the legacy banking system. “The pandemic has laid bare that the ability to pay in real time and at scale is invaluable,” Disparate said.

Circle is making these moves as blockchain payments technology from other firms such as Ripple expand and attract more banks, and financial institutions such as Visa and BNY Mellon build infrastructure to manage digital currencies. Governments globally are also building or considering digital versions of their own currencies, though beyond China and a handful of Caribbean regional markets, there is no widespread interoperable central bank digital currency in use.

Circle says it is likely private firms will drive the digitization of traditional money.

“CBDCs are a set of ideas today,” said Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s CEO. “The reality is digital currencies and electronic money movement has been driven by the private sector and there’s no reason to think that won’t be the case here.”

Diem did not return a request for comment. The Facebook-affiliated stablecoin, formerly called Libra, has navigated the loss of high-profile partners and regulatory storms for about two years. Diem more recently added Shopify and Checkout.com to provide e-commerce and payments expertise ahead of its launch, though losing Disparte draws attention back to Diem’s challenges.

Diem also lost co-founder Morgan Beller, who left the project for the VC market.

“Libra started out as a big idea that would establish a new currency,” said Tim Sloane, vice president of payments innovation at Mercator Advisory Group, adding countries didn’t care for Libra’s original concept, so Diem was born as part of the rebrand and regulatory effort. “Both ‘Libra’ and ‘Diem’ underestimated the effort involved and by targeting a solution everyone would use, ended up with a solution nobody understands.”

Circle is more incremental and targeted, Sloane said of the firm’s plan of targeting online businesses that make global payments, and as such can work with individual countries on regulatory acceptance.

“I’d say that [Disparte] found himself a solid, more focused gig as the cogs start to slip on the Diem mountain climbing payment railway.”



Most Related Links :
thereliablenews Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Check Also
Close
Back to top button