Bitmain Leads Circle's $100 Million Round; Teams Up to Create Stable Coin

Marco Green
May 17, 2018

According to Forbes, this round was the "largest venture capital round ever raised by a cryptocurrency or blockchain company".

Also participating in the financing round were existing investors IDG Capital, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, Accel, Digital Currency Group, and Pantera, along with new backers Blockchain Capital and Tusk Ventures. The company offers a cryptocurrency investment service, a payment service that offers global transfers called Circle Pay, an over-the-counter service for cryptotrading called Circle Trade, and Polinex, the cryptocurrency exchange it acquired in February.

CENTRE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Circle, although a white paper on CENTRE's website describes plans to separate from the parent company and operate independently. For a really long time, the company pitched itself as a social payment company, a Venmo and Square Cash competitor. Again, this pretty much goes against the whole point of cryptocurrencies, which were originally created to present a transparent financial market free of regulation from federal government and the influence of big banks.

USDC will be included in Circle Pay, the company's headline app, as well as in its Circle Trade market-making platform. A cryptobuck may be worth one amount when you buy it and either more or less when you sell it. It recently acquired cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex.

In February, it emerged that Circle had confirmed the purchase of US-based Poloniex in a deal estimated at $400m that would enable Circle to directly compete with one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Coinbase.

Circle says the goal of their Dollars coin is to provide "detailed financial and operational transparency, operating within the regulated framework of USA money transmission laws". This, it says will make it possible for consumers and businesses to transfer value even more efficiently. A long-circulated conspiracy theory alleges that Bitcoin prices were inflated in 2017 by unbacked USDT tokens, which were printed from thin air in $100-million-dollar increments. Pitched as "a solution that enables customers to purchase and use USDC fiat tokens for payments and trading in the crypto ecosystem", the token will be backed by physical USA dollars held in reserve, making it what Circle refers to as an "open source fiat stablecoin".

It further added that "Circle USDC addresses these problems by providing detailed financial and operational transparency, operating within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and reinforced by established banking partners and auditors". This protocol could let you send money to an Alipay user with your Square Cash balance.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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