Circle Responds to Terrorism Financing Allegations
- Circle denies facilitating financial activities for terrorist groups like Hamas.
- The stablecoin issuer revealed that it terminated all accounts held by Tron’s Justin Sun earlier this year.
- US lawmakers have focused their attention on prominent figures in the crypto space with alleged ties to financial crimes.
Stablecoin issuer Circle has addressed a letter to Sens. Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren disputing what it called inaccurate allegations that it participated in illegal financial activities. Circle, the company behind the USDC stablecoin, also stated that Huobi Global, which is now known as HTX, Justin Sun, and the TRON Foundation are not recipients of its banking services.
The company wrote in its letter that “Circle does not facilitate, directly or indirectly, or finance Hamas (or any other illicit actors). Nor does Circle 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.”
Circle added that “to date, the U.S. government has not specifically designated Mr. Sun or his entities as Specially Designated Nationals,” noting that it “terminated all accounts held by Mr. Sun and his affiliated companies in February 2023.”
Circle also rejected allegations that it enabled “major flows of funds to Hamas or Hezbollah,” noting that such claims were based on unsubstantiated, unverified social media posts. The letter claimed that “only $160 was transferred in USDC among [illicit wallets]” and that “none of that was acquired from Circle.”
Circle’s letter, written by Dante Disparte, its Chief Strategy Officer, was a response to a November 9 letter from the Campaign for Accountability, which alleged that Circle did not stop illegal financial activities.
Michelle Kuppersmith, the executive director of the Campaign for Accountability, claimed that there were connections between Circle and Sun, citing “recently published studies and reports of law enforcement operations.”
The Campaign for Accountability previously urged Senators Brown and Warren to “turn their attention to the role crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun, his blockchain TRON, and the US-based stablecoin issuer Circle may be playing in the financing of terrorist organizations.”
US lawmakers have turned their faces to crypto service providers since reports emerged that Hamas relied on crypto exchanges to access funding. A Wall Street Journal article revealed that terrorist organizations have received donations of over $12 million in cryptocurrencies. Other reports state that crypto crimes have surged to new heights in 2023.