Former Fed economist joins USDC issuer Circle

Gordon Liao, who announced he was joining USDC issuer Circle as its first ever chief economist, has had an illustrious career at the Fed and Harvard, but he’s not exactly new to crypto.

Facade of the Federal Reserve bank

Circle, the company behind the collateralized stablecoin USDC, is making room for a chief economist as it looks to capitalize on the government’s appetite for fiat-backed stablecoins. The role was entrusted to Gordon Liao, former senior economist to the Federal Reserve Board and consultant to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

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Liao, who holds a PhD in business economics from Harvard and served as an associate at the Harvard Management Company, tweeted he was “impressed by Circle’s balance sheet practices,” adding that “Circle takes no leverage, no credit risk, and minimal market risk.”

Despite taking up the role of chief economist at Circle, Liao will continue to advise another one of his former employers, the decentralized crypto exchange Uniswap, which he credited with “exposing me to the best of DeFi.” He also co-authored a paper entitled Stablecoins: Growth Potential and Impact on Banking, published earlier this year by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as part of the Fed’s International Finance Discussion Papers.

Circle co-founder and CEO, Jeremy Allaire, welcomed Liao to the company, saying he would focus on “Circle product, treasury, policy and global stakeholders.” The new chief economist is likely to helm Circle’s efforts to capitalize on the momentum that appeared with legislative initiatives aimed at a mass adoption of fiat-backed stablecoins in the US and the UK.