Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

After raising $110M, Circle raises announces new USA dollar-linked cryptocurrency

After raising $110M, Circle raises announces new USA dollar-linked cryptocurrency

The Boston-based fintech company Circle, which has 7 million users, closed a funding round for $110 million led by bitcoin miner and designer of ASIC chips Bitmain, Bloomberg reports. While Bitmain is leading Circle's latest funding round, those who are also participating in the round include existing investors IDG Capital, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, Accel, Digital Currency Group, and Pantera, along with new investors Blockchain Capital and Tusk Ventures.

"A price-stable currency, such as a token pegged to the U.S. dollar, is critical for enabling mainstream adoption of blockchain technology for payments as well as for supporting maturation in financial contracts built on smart contract platforms, such as tokenized securities, loans, and property", the company stated in its blog. It forms the backbone of Circle's blockchain payments network CENTRE, and will be available to trade on any exchange that accepts it, starting with Circle-acquired Poloniex. "Bitmain will help Centre introduce multiple fiat stablecoins in a variety of geo-currency zones", Circle says.

"A price-stable medium of exchange and store of value is missing, and badly needed in order for global financial interoperability to function reliably and consistently", Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said in a blog announcing the deal.

Circle Internet has been making smart moves in the cryptocurrency space in pursuit of new opportunities for growth.

In a statement, the company said: "Bitmain is one of the most important and forward-thinking companies in crypto, and has become a critical infrastructure provider for the entire crypto economy".

Though Circle didn't mention the Tether (USDT) token by name, USDC appears to be a more regulator-friendly version of the USD-pegged asset popular on big exchanges like Bitfinex. Yet in many ways, despite Circle celebrating a fifth anniversary this fall, we feel we are still just getting started. Circle has also announced plans to launch USDC, a stable coin pegged to Dollars. This means that the mobile payments company, which also offers cryptocurrency trading facilities, is now valued at somewhere in the region of $3bn - with previous backers including Goldman Sachs and Baidu.

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. USDC will be an ERC-20 token, based on the Ethereum network.

"To realize the vision for ubiquitous payments, we need there to be currencies that can be stored, settled and used", Allaire continued.

Circle also announced that Bitmain would support the Centre project and the resale of the new token, USD-C.

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