In a recent statement posted on Circle’s blog on 30 November, the USD Coin stablecoin issuer refuted claims of illicit financing and connections to Tron founder Justin Sun.
The denial comes in response to allegations from the nonprofit watchdog group, Campaign for Accountability, accusing Circle of having ties to Sun.
The open letter, addressed to U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, and signed by Circle’s chief strategy officer Dante Disparte, disputes recent claims made by the Campaign for Accountability.
Disputing Allegations and Unverified Claims
Disparte clarifies that Circle neither facilitates nor finances illicit activities, including any association with Hamas.
As written on Circle’s blog:
“First, Circle has long made combating illicit finance activities – including the use of currency in any form to fund terrorism – a guiding principle of our business. Moreover, Circle has always been an active partner of regulators and law enforcement in the United States, Israel, and other jurisdictions to help ensure that our stablecoin, USDC, does not fund illicit activity of any kind. Second, Circle does not “bank” Justin Sun. Neither Mr. Sun nor any entity owned or controlled by Mr. Sun, including the TRON Foundation or Huobi Global, currently have accounts with Circle.”
Furthermore, he denies providing financial services to Sun, highlighting that Circle ceased services to Sun and affiliated entities in February 2023.
The letter aims to counter accusations of facilitating significant fund flows to organisations like Hamas or Hezbollah.
Disparte contends that these allegations stem from unverified social media posts, with only a minimal amount of $160 in USDC transferred among illicit wallets, none of which originated from Circle.
The Campaign for Accountability’s letter on 9th November prompted Circle’s response.
Circle disputed extensive ties to Sun’s Tron Foundation and addressed allegations about Sun’s cross-chain protocol, SunSwap, being used for money laundering.
Crypto-Terror Finance Worries
Recent concerns about cryptocurrency financing terrorism emerged during the Israeli-Hamas conflict, with initial reports suggesting significant crypto donations to terrorist organisations.
The Wall Street Journal stated that $12 million in crypto may have been sent to these organisations.