Circle, the cryptocurrency exchange platform backed by Goldman Sachs, announced the closing of its Series E financing round, where it raised $110 million at a valuation of nearly $3 billion. The funding round, which ranks among the largest in the history of crypto, will be used to build a stablecoin called “USD Coin.”
— Circle (@circlepay) May 15, 2018
In the announcement, the Boston-based company highlights its plans to create tokenized US dollar coins supported by developments in the CENTRE open source framework and by a new partnership with crypto mining hardware Bitmain, which led the financing round.
“Circle USDC (USD Coin) is a solution that enables customers to purchase and use USDC fiat tokens for payments and trading in the crypto ecosystem. USDC provides a full reserve US dollar-backed stablecoin, and is based on the open source fiat stablecoin framework developed and governed by CENTRE, which will provide independent oversight of Circle’s offering.”
Circle plans to build the USDC token into a fully-backed, regulatory-approved digital asset. Which should help the stablecoin avoid the scrutiny facing Tether, which has come under fire due to allegations of fraudulent balance sheets. Tether currently boasts a total market capitalization of $2.2 billion, making it the 14th largest cryptocurrency in the world.
Other stablecoins include Minexcoin, a global payment system built on low-volatility crypto-assets that are regulated by an autonomous algorithm, and Basis, which recently concluded a $133 million ICO with investors including Bain Capital Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Valor Capital, Alphabet’s venture arm Google Ventures and Digital Currency Group, among others.
In February, Circle acquired US crypto exchange Poloniex and announced plans to expand into Asia. Additionally, Circle Trade unveiled that the minimum ticket size for bitcoin trades will double, from $250,000 to $500,000, in order to better serve institutional clients. Circle Invest, Circle’s retail trading platform, also recently announced the listing of popular privacy coin Monero to its tradeable crypto assets.
Circle is now facing off with digital exchange giant Coinbase, which just launched a range of products and services designed for institutional clients.