Former CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert Joins Circle as Chief Legal Officer

Tarbert will guide the company’s global legal strategy as it contends with regulatory issues in the U.S.

AccessTimeIconJun 9, 2023 at 2:28 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 9, 2023 at 6:23 p.m. UTC

Heath Tarbert, a former CFTC chairman, will join stablecoin issuer Circle as chief legal officer and head of corporate affairs, effective July 1.

Tarbert, a veteran legal advisor with experience leading teams in all three branches of the federal government and across major regulatory agencies, will guide Circle’s global expansion.

“This is a critical crossroads for blockchain technology, as we start to see regulators making some movements,” Tarbert told CoinDesk. “But we [also] are actually seeing bipartisan legislation…with the hope of getting something done.”

The appointment comes as a House committee weighs a stablecoin bill that would appoint the Federal Reserve as crypto issuers’ primary regulator, and increase oversight of token issuances. At the same time, federal regulators have executed enforcement actions against key crypto industry players such as Coinbase, which alongside Circle co-founded the Centre Consortium, a member-based organization that manages USDC issuances.

Tarbert’s mission to guide the company’s strategy abroad also comes as many crypto firms look to plant roots in foreign markets as U.S. regulatory attitudes toward the crypto industry continue to sour.

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire celebrated Tarbert’s appointment in a Thursday press release.

“As we continue building a bridge between traditional finance and Web3, Heath’s perspective, legal acumen and global regulatory experience will help us advance the utility value of USDC worldwide,” Allaire said in a statement.


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Elizabeth Napolitano

Elizabeth Napolitano is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

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