Circle has long been a name intimately associated with the world of blockchain. Between the vocal nature of their leaders, touting the potential of the technology, and their high profile acquisitions over the past few years, they have often been a guiding light.
The company, however, appears to be in a state of flux, in recent months Circle has sold their interest in crypto exchange Poloniex, key personnel has left, and now, the potential sale of equity crowdfunding platform SeedInvest.
These are significant moves. The changes beg the question, do these developments represent the demise of Circle? Or a strategic restructuring paving the way for a brighter future?
SeedInvest No More?
There are rumblings that Circle intends to pivot their efforts away from crowdfunding. This pivot will reportedly involve the sale of recently acquired equity crowdfunding platform, SeedInvest.
While this has not been confirmed, it is being reported by the popular news outlet ‘The Block’.
It was not long ago that we first reported on the initial acquisition of SeedInvest. This was a move that caught the attention of many, as SeedInvest was one of the leading equity platforms at the time of acquisition. After being acquired by Circle, expectations were sky-high for what the company would achieve in the burgeoning sector.
Until recently, the brain trust at Circle was spearheaded by its pair of founders, which acted as ‘Co-CEOs’. This structure served the company well, since its founding in 2013, so it came as somewhat of a surprise in December 2019 when it was announced that Sean Neville, one of the Co-CEOs would be stepping down from his post.
It is believed that with the company reimagining their path forward, the time was ripe for changes in personnel as well. Neville recognized this, and took the opportunity to pursue new endeavours.
On-load / Off-load
Possibly, the downsizing event that garnered the most attention is the sale of Poloniex. This is primarily due to the fact that Circle acquired the exchange for a staggering sum, totalling over $400 million.
While the Poloniex dramatically improved during its time as a part of the Circle family, there was clearly more promise being shown in Circle’s other endeavours.
For more details surrounding the sale of the popular cryptocurrency exchange, make sure to peruse the following article.
In early 2019 Circle released a retrospective report of 2018, which noted two primary trends they felt would shape blockchain, moving forward – stablecoins and digital securities.
We have seen Circle, in the months since, attempt to capitalize on each of these. While its investment in SeedInvest may (or may not) be coming to an end, its work in developing USDC stablecoin over the same time period has clearly paid dividends.
The company states in a recently released paper detailing stablecoins, “global stablecoins offer the potential for a dramatic opening up of participation in global economic activity”.
We took a closer look at Circle’s USDC stablecoin, its competitors, and how this asset class stands to reshape finance in the following article.
The following is a brief breakdown of the various strategic moves made by Circle in recent months.
Sale of crowdfunding platform ‘SeedInvest’ to …?
Sale of trading platform ‘Circle Invest’ to Voyager
Co-CEO Sean Neville steps down
Sale of OTC Desk to Kraken
Sale of cryptocurrency exchange ‘Poloniex’ to Asian investment group
While the various events discussed above may come across as steps backwards, there is still hope that Circle knows exactly what they are doing. These moves are, after all, based on the potential shown by USDC, and what it can offer not only Circle, but the overall world of blockchain.
It was not that long ago that most were praising the decision to purchase both, SeedInvest and Poloniex. We trusted Circle’s judgment then, despite how events unfolded, maybe we should trust them now? Time will tell.
Founded in 2013, Circle is a well backed, financial services, company, which maintains operations in Boston, Massachusetts. Above all, the team at Circle is focused on ensuring the success of their stablecoin offering ‘USDC’.
CEO, Jeremy Allaire, currently oversees company operations.