Circle Internet Financial announced that the company has hired Benedicte Nolens, a former Goldman Sachs executive director, as its new head of global regulatory affairs. Nolens will also serve as head of compliance for Circle’s Europe and Asia operations as the company expands into global cryptocurrency securities trading.
Nolens joins Circle from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and brings significant regulatory experience to the table. Previously, Nolens worked at Credit Suisse as chief compliance officer.
Circle has recently opened offices in Beijing and Hong Kong, and has begun offering OTC trading earlier in 2018 – trading which now accounts for about 30% of its $2billion monthly trading volume.
Circle, which has received financial backing from Goldman Sachs, also operates a cryptocurrency exchange and retail brokerage business. The company is looking to expand into securities tokens which would enable trading of crypto assets that are registered as securities.
Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said that the company is interested in working with businesses that are looking to launched tokenized securities. To do this, a regulatory framework needs to be implemented that can support both crypto commodities and crypto securities. Currently, crypto companies do not have regulatory authority to trade crypto securities, although many are pursuing licensing that will allow such trading.
Nolens believes this next year will be devoted to developing an understanding of the regulatory situation rather than receiving clear regulatory guidance. Nolens said that Circle is participating in worldwide regulatory meetings and keeping an open mind as things unfold.
Currently, companies that manage crypto transactions in the US are regulated as money-transmitter businesses at the state level. This forces them to comply with dozens of potentially conflicting regulatory situations and makes it difficult for them to operate in many states.
Since federal banking regulations preempt state regulations and the adoption of federal regulations would enable crypto companies to operate under one set of cohesive guidelines.
Circle, which recently concluded a $10 million round of funding, has acquired Poloniex, a bitcoin exchange, as has introduced two new services: Circle Trade that supports institutional trading, and Circle Invest that supports retail crypto trading.