Privacy, Regulation & Security of Digital Assets in Europe with Pascal Gauthier of Ledger

As the cryptocurrency markets and stablecoins start to intertwine with traditional European financial institutions and investors, regulatory oversight, privacy, and digital asset security are emerging as key considerations.

Joining us this week is Pascal Gauthier, Chairman & CEO of Ledger, a leading digital asset hardware wallet technology company operating across the globe working with token issuers, cryptocurrency exchanges, and fintech firms. He is a French business angel and tech executive specializing in scale-ups. He worked at DooYoo, a German consumer reviews start-up, Kelkoo, an online price comparator, and Criteo.

Jeremy: It's really wonderful to be here. I'm Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder and CEO of Circle joined with Pascal, of course. I think all of you know, probably better than me.

Pascal: You never know. I'm the CEO at Ledger, just in case.

Jeremy: I think we wanted to really just use this as an opportunity to have a conversation between the two of us. I think, as some of you likely know both of us have been working in the crypto industry for a very long time, had been building, I think, two very significant long-term companies in the space and so can provide interesting perspective. I think we were each working on very complimentary thing. It'd be a great conversation.

Pascal: Well, good.

Jeremy: Maybe just to set the stage, you've obviously been in this really significant position as one of the most significant European crypto companies. The role of Europe in this broader ecosystem is understated, perhaps, just given how many projects and how many developers and others are building out of Europe. Maybe to set the stage, it'd be great to hear you talk a little bit about where is Europe in the crypto industry with the recent legislative work, European wide regulation? Is that going to create a bigger opportunity? Is that creating more challenges? Just big picture, what is the state of crypto in Europe?

Pascal: Sure, thanks. That's the first I think Web3 or the crypto phenomenon is an interesting, compared to Web2, where suddenly, companies are popping everywhere in the world. It's not like a US-centric only phenomenon. What's interesting, if you think about who are the biggest companies in the space, most of them are actually non-US companies. Think Binance, think FTX, et cetera, Ledger, and so on, and so forth. That's the first thing. The second thing is, for us, what's really difficult is then certainly, regulation, everywhere in the world becomes relevant, because we are international companies, by definition.

Ledger is shipping products in every country in the world and we've been doing so since the beginning. I remember us launching a product one day, and the first country that we shipped it to was Azerbaijan, which is random for a tech company, but in crypto, it makes perfect sense.

Therefore, regulation has always been like a sword hanging over our heads. We need to worry about regulation, wherever it comes from. Then, of course, there are big blocks. US is a big block. Europe is a big block because in Europe, the regulatory is very strong, maybe too strong. Sometimes with a very heavy hand, but also the people look at Europe as a regulatory beacon.

It's like whatever Europe will decide will have an impact on the world, whether it's good or bad, but it will definitely have an impact on the world. The difference between Europe and the US right now is US is very organized, coin center. You guys have had bigger companies for a longer time, therefore, a bigger lobby and public policy organization through Coin Center, for example, but other organizations.

In Europe, we're pretty naked, actually. When MiCA and ToFR hit the fan, everybody in Europe woke up, including us being like, "Oh, my God."

This has been in the making for a couple of years already. It was not new, it's just that nobody was big enough to take care of the problem. I think where Europe is right now is okay. There is always a very conservative temptation here to regulate everything fast. It's in the world of Ronald Reagan's. If he moves, tax it, if he keeps on moving, regulate it, if he stop moving, subsidize it. In France, taxes started at 75%. We've done that. Then now we go into regulation and hopefully, we won't go into subsidizing Web3 for Web3 to exist in Europe.

I think right now, this is not what's happening. Actually, we managed as, and when I say we, it's like the community regulators, everyone involved, we managed to keep it on the safer side and protect self custody and protect freedom. The battle is not over and regulation is long-term always and so we're working on that. With Ledger, we're building now a force at the European level, with bigger companies just to represent crypto in Brussels, which is not the case till today. We hope for the best, but Europe is definitely looking at the US. US sort of looking at Europe. These are the two big blocks that will move the world in terms of regulation, I think.

Jeremy: I would agree with that. I have a follow-up question, which is, I think gets to the heart of the matter and to some degree the heart of crypto and even your business, which is the European long-term, long-standing focus on privacy, as a fundamental right, a fundamental human right. If anything, GDPR taught the world that privacy is a first principle. Privacy by design is so fundamental, but in this area of financial transactions, there's almost another philosophy. Crypto, of course, creates these digital bearer assets and creates open networks and allows for just greater degrees of human freedom, than maybe the closed financial system. I wonder if you think over time, there'll be some reconciliation between the core values of privacy, and eventually how governments in Europe treat the use of digital bearer assets?

Pascal: This is a deep question. I think the short answer would be, I think these are two different monsters. I think Europe think about these two issues in parallel and differently. I'm not even sure that at some point they meet, because I think the way that Europe think about privacy was GDPR, et cetera, is one thing, but it's like, for the non-important stuff. It's for the-- honestly, the stuff that nobody cares about. If I have to say it, my Paris company was crypto so we had user data, and we asked users, how they felt about us having their data. They didn't care, like one person care, and then the 1%, after you explain 90% don't care.

People don't care, people don't even understand what it is. I think GDPR is a regulator fantasy. It's actually the worst thing that has happened to Europe. When it comes to money, Europe is very different. There is what I call the Chinese temptation to know everything that you're doing and to sacrifice freedom on the altar of the greater good. The greater good is, we want to stop the drug dealers and we want to stop bad people, et cetera. Because we want to do this then, all of you now need to prove that you're not a drug dealer, or that you're not a terrorist. I think with cryptocurrencies, and with CBDC, the crypto Euro, there is a huge temptation for Europe to put control on top of citizens, to just know what you do with your money, but for your good.

Jeremy: Sure. A lot of governments have China envy.

Pascal: Oui, but for the greater good, for your good, for your benefit, but I think these two things will be conflicting. We are big advocates of freedom, but freedom is controlled. I think, interestingly, if regulators were to look at really what public blockchains are, is really freedom with control, you're anonymous, but it's a public blockchain. It's public, everything that you do will be recorded forever, you better do right.

Jeremy: Yes. What I find interesting is that in some ways, like GDPR, or using regulation as a way to deal with, for example, the centralization and consolidation of user data by large third-party companies, which is in some ways the development of that regime was in response to the growth of Web2.0 companies. Even GDPR itself was a response to all of the kinds of intrusions.

Crypto itself is a more organic response. It's organically growing out of the internet, it's growing out of the open source ethos of the internet and from creators that are trying to create a new infrastructure, in a sense, a new global infrastructure that puts privacy at the core. In some ways, it's maybe a better response than the policy and regulatory response.

Pascal: You're 100% right, but it puts privacy and security at the core.

Jeremy: Exactly.

Pascal: What's very interesting with Blockchain technologies is the security aspect. The problem with centralized databases, they'll be hacked. It's not the problem of "if", it's the problem of "when". Actually, even the latest hacked was a billion users or a billion from the Chinese police. Even the Chinese police got hacked. I'm thinking who hacks the Chinese police? Who has a death wish, but people hack the Chinese police? If the Chinese police can be hacked, imagine everybody will be hacked.

Jeremy: Yes, it's a honeypot.

Pascal: Yes, 100%. Decentralization and what crypto does is actually the best answer to the future cyber threats. Cyber threats there's one book that you all need to read, it's called This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends. Once you read it, you're like, "Aha." You have a bit of aha moments. Cyber threats today are at one level, next year they'll be higher, then year after, they'll be higher, et cetera. It's actually exponential. Threats, theft of identity in France the year before, we're can't remember exactly the years, but I think it's 2020 was 1 million, 2021 was 5 million. It's actually quite exponential, what they can do, because of, or thanks to-- because of the Ukraine-Russian war, some of hacker groups were exposed because they were mixed with Ukrainian Russians and so they were turning on each other. Some groups that were exposed and there's only one group and I'll give you one example, but there are many like this. At 2,500 employees on the payroll, bigger than our both companies combined and 10,000 auxiliaries. You have 2,500 people that hack every day, that's all they do and then they have 10,000 auxiliaries. More than 1200 people whose only job is to hack companies like us, every databases, et cetera. This is the world that we live in and we need to understand this. Once you understand this, you're thinking, "Okay, well, decentralization makes sense."

Jeremy: Yes, I've always thought about and try to explain to people that public chains are really like the next logical infrastructure layer of the internet, and specifically designed for the kind of resiliency that is needed in the evolution of the internet itself.

Pascal: Maybe I ask you a few questions. You guys just launched, I don't know which one I want to start with. I'm going to start with the more provocative one. You just launched your crypto Euro and the question is, why is an American company launching a crypto Euro?

Jeremy: It's a great question. A couple things, I think the first, many people don't realize that we actually founded Circle in Dublin. We are actually a European company from the start and we maintain a significant investment in Europe. I'm based in the US, we're a very globally distributed company with people all over. We think of ourselves first as a global company, as a global technology company, we've invested a lot in building a regulated, stablecoin model out of the US. We made very significant investments there.

Many people don't realize that we, for a number of years, had a product available throughout the EU that allowed you to take Euro and transmit it over the Bitcoin network as a payment rail, which was not a good idea. It had a lot of limitations, but we've always been interested in how can we take what we think of as traditional money, government debt money, and create cryptocurrency versions of those that then can operate over this public blockchain infrastructure.

Five years ago, when we decided to build USDC, we started with dollars because it was the most common currency used in digital asset markets. We had already established a very clear regulatory framework for electronic money with stablecoins in the US. We were one of the very first companies to work with the regulators in the US to get that built.

That has grown alongside the growth of the digital asset markets and so USDC is quite large now and the regulatory environment is also maturing as well. As a company, we're very interested in ultimately having the world's largest currencies work on blockchains. Whether it's for traditional payments or it's used in financial market applications, we believe that the power of a Fiat digital currency is quite significant and so it was only a matter of time to pursue introducing other stablecoins.

The good news, for us at least, was that we had built up, over many years, a regulated model for how to do a Fiat currency stablecoin. We'd done that working with regulators in the US and have very strict rules around reserves, disclosures and have, as a result also, integration into the Fiat banking system and so we are able to bring that to work with Euro.

Now, our belief also is that we now have clarity for what European-issued stablecoins, how they'll be treated under the law in the coming years. Now that we have that clarity, it creates a very clear path for a company like Circle to issue European currency stablecoins.

Pascal: Clarity that came from the MiCA.

Jeremy: MiCA, yes. Now that there's clarity, there's a path to European wide crypto-based Euro stablecoins. I think up until the recent laws, there was not a clear path because it was not clear how it would be treated under EU law and it did not seem like something that could be ultimately accepted as a mainstream payment token in everyday applications, but now we see a path there.

Pascal: Would you say that US regulation gave you a first mover advantage in a way, and the fact that now MiCA is in place gave you the clear signing to go?

Jeremy: Very much so. We have a framework that we've built, I think the largest regulated dollar stablecoin in the world, and hopefully soon the largest dollar stablecoin in the world overall. We've done that with the pressure testing of regulators and examiners and operational capabilities that are needed to do that, so we're quite credible to replicate the model in other currencies, but exactly what you said.

When we saw that there would be European-wide frameworks for this, that was a huge positive development from our perspective. Because ultimately, we see this as something that, of course, will issue out of Europe, will operate under European regulations and that we expect to be something that could be very widely used in many different types of applications, many different types of commerce. We're obviously at the very beginning of the use of stablecoin in everyday society.

Pascal: That's a segue to my next question. I was wondering in terms of infrastructure, it's one thing to do a stablecoin, but how do you deploy it in the market? What have you done in the US that you replicate in Europe? What are the main actors into your stablecoin deployment as infrastructure?

Jeremy: First, we think of ourselves as a platform and infrastructure company. We think about it as a platform that other developers can build on top of. That's the approach and philosophy we took with USDC, is to be a neutral player that then thousands of companies or tens of thousands of companies could connect to and build on top of and wanted to provide the market with the assurance of an infrastructure that people knew was regulated, that had seamless integration into the existing banking system that was transparent.

We focused a lot of energy on working with the global ecosystem of firms in crypto, to grow that use. We continue to invest a huge amount in promoting the development of other products and services that connect to things like USDC. I think a lot of what we built up, we can bring immediately over to Euro. The ecosystem that we've built around USDC can very easily and quickly adopt Euro Coin.

The banking partners that we've built up, the global regulatory position that we've established also convey to the Euro Coin project. We're only a few weeks into this, we have many companies throughout the ecosystem who are turning on the support for Euro Coin exchanges, wallets, DeFi protocols, market makers, many other types of firms are starting to get involved. I think we hopefully will see the network effects that we've established with USDC. We can see some of those same network effects take hold for Euro.

Pascal: Do you have a few KPIs to share when it comes to USDC so we have in mind what could come to--

Jeremy: Sure. USDC, for perspective, two years ago was less than a billion in circulation, today there's over 55 billion USDC in circulation. It's the fourth largest cryptocurrency in the world. I hope and expect it will be the third largest in the world in the near future. We've handled over $5 trillion in transaction volume with USDC and there are now 10,000 plus companies that have built integrations into the USDC smart contracts. While it's financial services products, it's the most borrowed dollar asset in the crypto economy. It's the most used dollar asset in DeFi all around the world. Now, major payments companies, even legacy payments companies like Visa and MasterCard are integrating things like USDC as a settlement technology. We're seeing a lot of exciting developments there and we want to be able to carry those forward for other stables that are launched by Circle.

Pascal: Super exciting. Okay, but tell me the difference between what you do and a CBDC? What would be the difference between what Europe is working on and what you're bringing to market?

Jeremy: I think the major difference, whether it's USDC or Euro stablecoin, is that these are actually in the market and working at scale and growing. Tens of thousands of companies are building on top of them and they're built on a philosophy of open public blockchains and of open developer ecosystems and a public internet infrastructure and all the benefits that come from that. I think philosophically, blockchain native Fiat digital currency models provide a path for rapid innovation and development that is unmatched today. In many ways, in our view, we're just working on new layers of infrastructure on the internet and improving the internet. Improving the internet in terms of its ability to support economic value exchange, not just in representations of things like fiat currency, but also the innovations in building blocks of commerce, building blocks of finance, building blocks for the organization of corporate forums like Dows. All this innovation that's taking place is very synergistic with things like public chain stablecoins.

I think governments do have China envy. They do think that they need to compete in a world where there's a national monopoly on things like this, but remember, the Chinese digital currency project was not a response to cryptocurrency necessarily. It was much more of a response to the growth of private power in China and part of an effort to rein in private power in China, Tencent and Ali, specifically. To create an infrastructure that the government could control with massive financial surveillance and it has a much more political agenda.

Now, it's not clear to me that anyone actually wants to use the Chinese digital currency. In fact, it has very limited uptake. The only people who use it are people who get airdropped it for public benefits. The actual people in China don't trust the government. They'd rather use the private intermediaries to use electronic money. I think that society, whether it's individuals, households, firms, others are going to choose which economic system they want to participate in.

They're going to choose the more open, interoperable, private, secure models. I think if there's a competition, the open internet infrastructure and the private innovation and open source innovation that happens, will win that any day.

Pascal: Amen. I agree. That begs the question on, now you got your crypto euro, and you already done it with a crypto dollar and this open network with DeFi on top of it and so the Holy Grail is like, "How can let company code on top of your stablecoins?" Can you tell us what has already happened in the US? What could we see in terms of DeFi products coming on top of the crypto euro in Europe soon?

Jeremy: It's a great topic. I think even going back almost 10 years ago when I was working on founding Circle, the thing that really captured my imagination was the idea of programmable money. My background is actually not in the financial sector, it's in building internet infrastructure. I've built multiple internet programming languages, I've built app infrastructure products in the past. I was excited about the idea that you could have a representation of a dollar or a Euro that was actually expressed as a cryptocurrency and that that would be programmable.

There's never been programmable money until now. Open banking APIs is not programmable money, but if you actually have a digital bearer asset, like a digital instrument, and you can interact with that like a piece of data on the internet, that's very, very profound. That was all a concept nine years ago. Smart contracts were an idea on napkins, they were white papers. Now that we actually have these general-purpose computing environments, these public chain computing environments, we're really starting to see all kinds of innovation happen.

Today, all of the primitives, the financial primitives of borrowing and lending of risk management, the building blocks of real commerce, and finance, are being built up on the decentralized infrastructure. All of that infrastructure conveys onto multiple currencies. I think you'll see of course, very robust, native stablecoin FX markets, which will allow for the clearing and settlement of cross-currency transactions 24/7, 365, at essentially close to no cost.

That's a composable building block for many, many other things, but even the most basic things. We're seeing the birth of new on-chain debt capital market structures or lending structures that are for issuing credit, unsecured credit, and doing that on a blockchain and protocols to support that. When you see those things evolve, that has nothing to do with the dollar. Those are just market primitives that then become very, very powerful for stimulating real economic activity. I'm very excited about basically every use case you have for money being able to be handled in on-chain infrastructure. I think that will be powerful for the euro, just as it is powerful for the dollar.

Pascal: I think that's super exciting. I've been asked whether we had an announcement to make today and my answer was no, actually, we don't have. Outside of these guys launching the crypto euro, but Ledger and Circle do we have an announcement to make today? No. The crypto dollar is [unintelligible 00:25:29] is already supporting on Ledger and on Ledger Enterprise. This is something that we support. We support crypto, every public cryptocurrency very natively on Ledger. This is not an announcement because it's sort of like riding a bicycle. [crosstalk] It's built-in. This is what we'll do.

Jeremy: That's the beauty of open infrastructure.

Pascal: Exactly. If you want an announcement, we will support these guys on Ledger.

Jeremy: All right, cheers.

Pascal: Because the DNA of the companies are very interlinked. We all [unintelligible 00:25:58] open source companies and for the world to be able to be on top. I think this is super exciting.

Jeremy: Maybe a follow-up question on that in terms of our companies. I know we've both been through multiple phases of this market. For people who are building their first crypto companies, or building in the space that are new right now is a 'bear market'. You've seen all of this value destruction, you see regulatory enforcement actions, you see all kinds of literally companies going insolvent. It's like, at some level one could say, "Oh, wow, that's really scary." I think our perspective is different, but I think maybe just for everyone here to just share in a minute or two your perspective on how to think about where we are right now and how to position oneself for the growth that is still happening.

Pascal: Yes, sure. Well, it's captured in one sentence and it's "Don't be greedy." I think what happened in the market recently is greed. When it's too good to be true, it's too good to be true. Don't invest in stuff that is too good to be true. Greed is, we pitched for as long as I can remember self-custody, and why would you trust 100% of your Bitcoin for 4% to a third company where the risk is actually, you will never see your bitcoins again? That 4% for me is greed.

What's not good with Bitcoin on itself, keep it, hold it wait forever et cetera and et cetera. The companies that we're building, and the spirit in which we're building the company, it's a bit selfless. At Ledger, money comes after you've done everything right, and not before. Money is eventually a reward, and the reward comes from your customers, the community, et cetera, because you've given them a service that they like, and that they want to purchase again, et cetera.

Being greedy is the worst thing in the space because it triggers every wrong decision to build for the short-term, to build for the next quarter, to build for something that is not real. Something that doesn't have a real purpose. When you build a company, the question is why do you build the company? If the why is to make 20% APY, think again. That's not a good why. Typically, when I enter into crypto, it was because I didn't want to advertising anymore.

Advertising is interesting, but you certainly don't cure cancer. Going into crypto was to build something bigger, where the why is for us, it's freedom. It's empowering people, it's giving them technology so they can become self-sovereign because what's happening in the world right now in the web, is you're trapped into systems and you're not really free. The question is, is technology here to enslave us or free us and we think it's here to free us. If we do that right, then sure, we make money. You make money only to serve your customers best.

Jeremy: That's a great perspective. Yes, taking a long-term view, and focusing on not taking shortcuts doing things right even if people tell you that you're not going to be successful with that [crosstalk] and they're probably wrong.

Pascal: It's very frustrating. It's very frustrating because you and I have been in the same situation. Sometimes you see companies like skyrocketing and I was looking at them I was like, "This makes no sense to me, but okay." For some times, you're the dumb person in the room. People know better than you. They grow faster, et cetera, but okay, well, I'm happy that, for me, it's the tale of the turtle and the hare. In the end, the turtle wins. In this race, the turtle will win. We're the turtle.

Speaker 1: Thanks a lot. Great discussions, especially about privacy. We at Europe are not that bad with privacy. We have great companies like Sismo, [unintelligible 00:29:54] technologies, and even the most prolific engineers in US privacy companies come from Europe. We really have to do a play on this disclaimer, "I'm working for the government."

[laughter]

I don't think the government can handle this complexity at this level. What can we do to improve these technologies to have live use case? Is it a foundations? The guys at Protocol Labs are doing it pretty well, but what can we do to finance these guys because the VCs doesn't really live the business model? Privacy is not the 10 times or 50 times business model. How can we, in your opinion, solve this problem?

Pascal: I got a brutal answer for you. [chuckles] My answer will be brutal. First of all, chaos theory doesn't work. This theory that because you break something, then there'd be a bunch of people cleaning it, and that creates value, that's not true. This is the chaos theory and I might-- You create a mess and then you create companies that are trying to fix the mess, that's bad business, and this is why they don't find money and VC won't touch it with a stick, because it's all wrong.

The way that we think about privacy is completely wrong. We put a heavy burden on people and on companies on everything that we do. We need to change the way that we think about privacy and technology is here to help. The good news is there is help and the help is coming from technology, whether it's blockchain technology, whether it's zero proof knowledge, et cetera.

There are a lot of very interesting things that create value and that help solve these problems. Once you put this into market, then it becomes very interesting because then it's real business. Then everybody has an incentive to make this work. Regulation as a punishment, and just as a cost doesn't really work. It actually weakens the companies and it's not solving any problems.

Me, I'm a big advocate of smart regulation that understands what we're trying to solve and promote business versus trying to put a burden on businesses and make our lives as CEO so difficult because certainly, you have to cater for so many regulations, et cetera, et cetera.

Jeremy: I would just add two quick things, which is I do think there is actually a lot of funding that is going into the privacy-preserving technologies, in the crypto space, especially, but in the next generation of blockchain infrastructure. In fact today, I think, a really prominent project just received $150 million in funding for the next level of zero-knowledge proof compute-based blockchain infrastructure.

I think there is a lot there. Another area that we're very focused on is decentralized identity and the development of decentralized identity standards that can be used at scale in web3, and in these kinds of applications because we do need to have situations like that where you can prove something without having to disclose all of your information. Being able to do cryptographic proofs of various claims about your identity is a major breakthrough. I think that could improve the internet and improve privacy, but deal with some of the societal risks that do exist.

Pascal: On every level, even social networks, suddenly you can prove that you're human and that you're not a bot, et cetera, but the problem with regulators, they need to embrace technological changes and make it part of the regulation versus typically what's happening with MiCA, et cetera. The people that are trying to ban crypto are people saying, "Oh, well, we should apply the same rules as before to crypto."

Without taking consideration that crypto, technology speaking, is completely different and already solved some of the issues that past regulations were trying to solve. The fact that it's a public ledger already, is a very different problem to solve. You can't take all regulations and apply it on this because you are just not taking into consideration the technology itself.

That's a real thing with regulators. The problem is not the regulators, it's also us and we need to work in partnership, et cetera, because when you do, it actually works. If you explain to people, regulators who have many things to do, how things work, usually they're smart. They understand quickly and then they do better regulation.

Rodriguez: Thank you. I am [unintelligible 00:34:10] Rodriguez. I'm CTO of [unintelligible 00:34:12], one of the oldest European exchanger where we have a BTC Euro for years since 2011. I'm very interested by your roadmap about the development of your stablecoin. I'd like to know. I understood that it'll be ERC20 token. Do you plan also to make it available on Solana, on Polygon blockchains? Also, [unintelligible 00:34:37] is a member of Blockstream Network, Liquid Network which is very interesting to exchange between exchanges. For now, we only have a [unintelligible 00:34:47] stablecoin on this sidechain. Do we have any plan or also to provide your token on that kind of side chain?

Jeremy: It's a very good question. It relates to the question that Pascal had earlier, which is, are there things that we can bring over from the infrastructure we've developed for USDC into the Euro world? The answer is yes. Today, USDC operates on nine blockchains, Solana, Avalanche, Polygon, Algorand, and many others. We are continuing to launch more layer one and layer two chains for USDC.

We have publicly said that we will be launching the Euro stablecoin on multiple new chains over the rest of this year. Over time, you should expect to see any stablecoin that we issue, be able to operate consistently across all of these different blockchain networks. We're going to be launching on more chains, high-performance, low-cost chains with Euro Coin. Then the question about Bitcoin sidechains, we've been really interested in the whole area of tokens and Bitcoin.

There has not been a native architecture. Something like Liquid, of course, is a proprietary side chain that you have to buy into. We're very interested in the Taro protocol, which is a project that is being worked on by Lightning Labs that allows using the new tap root mechanisms in the latest Bitcoin core, allows for the representation of a token that could actually be transacted and settled on the Bitcoin network.

That's an interesting development, and so we're watching that very, very closely, because I think that could actually allow for issuing assets that can transact and leverage this underlying security of the Bitcoin network. We're paying very close attention to that. Thank you.

Rodriguez: Have you tried or thought to about using Omni or Counterparty for USDC on Bitcoin like [unintelligible 00:36:57] is doing signs?

Jeremy: Yes. I mean, Omni and Counterparty are-- There's not a lot of development happening on those and they're quite fragile. I think for us, they don't provide the capabilities that are necessary to support USDC, at least what we see as the minimum capabilities to run USDC. We're looking for new developments based on the latest capabilities from Bitcoin core.

Rodriguez: Thank you.

Jeremy: Thank you all for coming out. Thank you, Pascal.[crosstalk]
Jeremy Allaire
Co-Founder, CEO & Chairman at Circle
Pascal Gauthier
Chairman & CEO at Ledger

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