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Circle Beat The Bearish Market: “We Had Very Significant Growth Last Year” its CEO Says

The market for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies remains a reasonably lucrative business despite the bearish trend experienced by tokens in 2018. Regardless of the technical indicators, businesses applying the “Buidl” philosophy have shown considerable growth, and Circle is an excellent example of this.

In an interview for Fortune’s Balancing the Ledger, Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle explained that although trading volume has decreased, the valuation of his Exchange and the use of its services grew over the last year:

When there’s not volatility, or prices are down, then volumes are down. We had very significant growth year last year, even though there was a crypto bear market

After Buying Poloniex, Tokenized Securities are under Circle’s Radar

Circle is one of the most influential companies in the world of cryptocurrencies, its OTC Trading Desk is extremely popular among high-volume traders. Likewise, the company was able to position itself in the spot trading market after buying Poloniex for a value close to 400 million dollars.

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According to information provided by Fortune, after its last round of funding, Circle was privately valuated at $3 billion; however, a report by Frank Chaparro published by The Block suggests that after the Bitmain debacle, Circle’s valuation could have fallen to less than $1 billion.

Despite the drop in volume, the Circle team has significant projects in mind, one of the most critical being the development of a tokenized securities trading platform. To this end, the recent acquisition of SeedInvest is a major strategic decision taken by the board of directors.

We’re going to look at ways that we can bring the benefits of digital assets, crypto technologies, and blockchains into this whole area of issuing securities over the internet

Circle is Focused On Promoting USDC. Facebok And USDT Are Not a Threat

USDC Coin Logo

Also, Circle is focused on promoting USDC, its native stablecoin. After the scandals that questioned USDT’s credibility and recent USDT claims that it is not 100% 1:1 backed by real dollars, Circle hopes to improve the positioning of its stablecoin by increasing its presence in other exchanges.

Facebook’s intention to issue its own stablecoin, did not concern Mr. Allaire; in fact, he commented that such initiatives are beneficial to the ecosystem:

I think it’s a great sign that major Internet companies are starting to look at issuing cryptocurrencies … That’s very, very positive in our view overall.

The post Circle Beat The Bearish Market: “We Had Very Significant Growth Last Year” its CEO Says appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire: Stablecoins That Use Open Standards Will Prevail

Jeremy Allaire has said that stablecoins using open standards will prevail as the sector continues to see new market entrants.

Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of payments company Circle, has said that as the sector continues to see new market entrants, stablecoins using an open standards approach will prevail. Allaire made his remarks during an interview with Fortune’s crypto-focused segment The Ledger on March 19.

As reported, Circle launched its US dollar-backed, ERC-20 stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) last fall, via the consortium Centre, which counts crypto exchange Coinbase and mining firm Bitmain as members. Centre is also the name for the token’s open network and open source protocol, which provides interoperability in a bid to secure wide ecosystem support for the asset.

In his interview with The Ledger, Allaire welcomed recent, unconfirmed reports of Facebook’s still-secretive plans to launch its own stablecoin asset, which would reportedly be integrated for payments within a canopy messaging service for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram:

“[Facebook’s reported plans are] very, very positive in our view overall. The approach that we’ve taken is to create a consortium model. When we think about a standard for how fiat money works on the internet, it’s really critical that it’s an open standard that many companies can implement, that has an self-governance mechanism — [that provides] a technical standard as well as a membership framework.”

Using the metaphor of creating “an HTTP for money on the internet” that could support global, broad participation from multiple actors, Allaire said he believed such an approach is “ultimately going to be much more successful than a single company issuing a [crypto]currency themselves.”

As reported yesterday, the Winklevoss twins have echoed Allaire’s perspective in affirming the Facebook stablecoin development as a positive sign for the crypto industry as a whole, while underscoring the project’s prospective limitations.

This year, United States banking giant JPMorgan Chase revealed its own plans to launch a proprietary stablecoin, which has also drawn criticisms over its lack of interoperability.

When Circle closed its Bitmain-led $110 million fundraising round to raise capital for the USDC project last May, its private valuation hit $3 billion. More recent figures for the firm, in the aftermath of the protracted crypto bear market, have not been officially reported — although Allaire told the Ledger the company continued to see “very significant growth year last year.”

In summer 2018, Allaire pitched stablecoins as a vital component of the infrastructure for creating a tokenized global economy.

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Crypto Payments Firm Circle Closes Acquisition of Crowdfunding Platform SeedInvest

Circle announced that it closed the acquisition of the joint crowdfunding platform and registered operator of a broker-dealer.

Goldman Sachs-backed cryptocurrency finance firm Circle announced that it closed the acquisition of SeedInvest, a crowdfunding platform and registered operator of a broker-dealer. The news was reported via a post on Coinbase’s official blog published March 4.

Cointelegraph first reported about the ongoing acquisition in October last year, noting that the deal will enable Circle to expand SeedInvest’s offerings to support cryptocurrencies, including fiat stablecoins and issuing and offering tokenized securities. At the time, the acquisition was put on hold until the United States Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) approved the deal.

According to the announcement, the acquisition concluded after Circle obtained regulatory approval by the FINRA, closing the acquisition. The acquired company will reportedly continue to operate normally and will allow Circle to further explore asset tokenization.

According to stats reported on its website, SeedInvest has successfully funded over 220 companies and counts over 260,000 users; the total investment made via SeedInvest reportedly amounts to over $115 million.

Meanwhile, according to an unconfirmed report, Circle itself is also looking to raise $250 million of funding in a combination of equity and debt.

A recent acquisition by cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase spurred controversy after news broke that the acquired digital intelligence firm Neutrino was associated with Hacking Team, which allegedly sold tracking software to authoritarian regimes.

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Unconfirmed: Goldman Sachs-Backed Crypto Payments Startup Circle Seeks $250M in Funding

Goldman Sachs-backed cryptocurrency startup Circle is reportedly looking to raise $250 million of funding.

Goldman Sachs-backed cryptocurrency finance firm Circle is reportedly looking to raise $250 million of funding in a combination of equity and debt. The source of information are claims made by an anonymous person familiar with the company’s plans, as cited in a report by technology news website The Information on March 2.

According to the article, Circle — which generates revenue from trading fees on its cryptocurrency exchanges (Poloniex and the institutional offering Circle Trade) — has seen a decrease in its proceeds after the overall crypto market crash lead to decreased trading volumes. Still, in an interview with The Information, Circle’s co-founder Jeremy Allaire claimed that the company’s revenue grew between 2017 and 2018 despite the fall in crypto prices.

As Cointelegraph reported in January, the over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading desk at Circle (Circle Trade) had a notional volume of $24 billion in 2018.

Circle is also the company behind the dollar-backed stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), for which the company released the third audit report in January. The coin was added by Binance to its combined stablecoin market in December last year.

More recently, as part of an overall aim to operate with a broader part of the institutional crypto trading market, Gemini — the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins — has joined the British Telecommunications Radianz Cloud broker community.

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Circle Hires AI-Powered Service to Fight Pump and Dumps, Market Manipulation and Insider Trading

Circle is determined to be a pioneer in the promotion of transparent policies for fintechs and is actively working to avoid dishonest practices on its platform.

According to a press release published on February 27, Circle contracted the services of Nice Actimize, an Israel-based cybersecurity company, to monitor the financial operations carried out on its platform in order to detect and counteract potentially illicit situations.

Nice Actimize will use its Cloud Markets Surveillance (CMS) service to detect practices that have negatively affected crypto trading activities over time. Initially, they will focus on insider trading schemes, pump and dumps, wash trading and layering.

In this way, trading through Circle’s platforms —an activity which totaled more than 24 billion dollars in 2018— will have an additional layer of security, without compromising the privacy of users.

Robert Bench, Head Regulatory Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Circle pointed out that the firm chose Nice Actimize’s services because of its ability to adapt to the company’s standards and current legal regulations:

“Circle has adopted a strong position on policy and crypto-related regulatory issues that focuses on the safety of our customers and investors. Adapting innovative technology solutions, such as the financial markets compliance solutions from NICE Actimize, to meeting the potential needs of regulators and protecting our assets brings this commitment full circle…

There are a number of markets surveillance vendors that address traditional asset classes, but we needed a partner that could adapt their traditional market expertise to the unique elements of the crypto market. NICE Actimize was chosen as the partner which could offer that adaptability.”

For his part, Craig Costigan. CEO of NICE Actimize, pointed out that the cybersecurity firm is confident in meeting Circle’s expectations. He was enthusiastic about the possibility of contributing to the development of a better platform, with safe and cost-effective solutions in the event of a problem:

“As we lead the digital financial services industry with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and advanced analytics, NICE Actimize will continue to innovate on behalf of the newest financial product categories, including cryptocurrencies, digital wallets, and more …

We recognize that Circle is a category leader committed to the highest standards of customer safeguards and are excited to be one of the industry’s first financial crime solutions providers to tackle the exciting new cryptocurrency category with secure and cost-effective protections.”

Nice Actimize will provide Circle with its traditional solutions; however, one of the most emblematic features will be the implementation of ActOne, an “AI-enabled financial crime investigation management platform.”

The specific date of implementation of these technologies has not been disclosed, but it is very likely that the upgrades on the Circle platform will start soon, including maybe Circle-owned crypto exchange Poloniex.

The post Circle Hires AI-Powered Service to Fight Pump and Dumps, Market Manipulation and Insider Trading appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Circle Introduces Market Surveillance to Fight Insider Trading, ‘Pump and Dump’ Schemes

Circle plans to ensure it is protected against malicious trading schemes and on the right side of regulators.

Blockchain finance company Circle will use digital financial services company Nice Actimize’s market monitoring tools to fight manipulation, a press release confirmed on Feb. 27.

Nice Actimize, which forms a branch of Israeli enterprise software giant Nice Ltd., offers professional client tools in the areas of financial crime, risk and compliance.

Circle will use Actimize’s Cloud Markets Surveillance (CMS) to proactively prevent and detect malicious trading activity on its own platform, including insider trading, layering and even so-called pump and dump schemes.

“Adapting innovative technology solutions, such as the financial markets compliance solutions from Nice Actimize, to meeting the potential needs of regulators and protecting our assets brings this commitment full circle,” Circle’s head regulatory counsel and chief compliance officer, Robert Bench, commented in the press release.

As Cointelegraph reported, institutional platforms like Circle are actively seeking to quell concerns about manipulation on cryptocurrency markets.

Not just Nice, but also Nasdaq has seen success deploying its market surveillance technology in associated areas. In January, Nasdaq revealed that seven cryptocurrency exchanges currently use its market monitoring tech.

Last month ,meanwhile, trade security startup Solidus Labs announced it had raised $3 million to combat market manipulation.

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Coinbase, R3 and Other Major Firms Respond to CFTC’s Request for Input on Ethereum

More than 30 major crypto and finance companies, including R3 and Coinbase, have filed comments in response to the CFTC’s request on Ethereum.

Several major crypto and traditional finance companies have replied to the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) request on crypto asset mechanics as late as Feb. 25.

The CFTC published its inquiry in late December 2018. In it, the regulator’s LabCFTC initiative, focused on fintech innovations, sought public comments on the main principles of the Ethereum network. The watchdog’s reported aim was to understand similarities and distinctions between different cryptocurrencies and the “technology, mechanics, and markets for virtual currencies beyond Bitcoin.”

In particular, the request for input focuses on Ethereum (ETH), along with opportunities and risks associated with its ecosystem.

As of press time, 35 crypto and traditional finance companies have provided detailed comments on the matter to the CFTC. Blockchain consortium R3, the non-profit Ethereum Foundation, U.S. crypto exchanges Coinbase and ErisX, blockchain tech company ConsenSys, crypto finance company Circle and Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings were among the companies that submitted responses.

In his comments, R3’s managing director Charley Cooper also commended the CFTC for its initiative. He gave some predictions on the evolution of digital assets in 2019, saying that he believes that asset-backed tokens, such as those pegged to gold or real estate objects, along with native asset tokens, will form the future of the industry.

Gus P. Coldebella, chief legal officer at Circle, wrote that the Ethereum network, which supports different types of digital assets, can contribute to the global tokenization of value. Tokenization can also make assets more accessible online and internationally, as the internet makes information transfer easier and more accessible.

Brian Brooks, chief legal officer at Coinbase, focused on the risks and regulations surrounding the Ethereum ecosystem. For instance, the company believes that the CFTC’s intention to properly oversee the spot and derivatives markets for ETH can be negatively impacted by the fact that the majority of trading happens outside the U.S.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier in February, Chicago-based ErisX also filed a comment in response to the CFTC’s request. The exchange believes that “the introduction of a regulated futures contract on Ether would have a positive impact on the growth and maturation of the market.”