Circle

Circle is a digital currency company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded by serial Internet entrepreneur Jeremy Allaire, Circle aims to build on the open foundations of Bitcoin to deliver products that can facilitate mainstream adoption of digital currency. Circle has received US$26 million in venture capital investments. Circle is developing a product that allows consumers to easily convert, store, send, and receive digital currency. Its product was released by invitation only in March 2014. Allaire, who previously founded and led Allaire Corporation and Brightcove to successful IPOs, said of Circle, “We want to make this as easy to use as Gmail, Skype, and other consumer services on the Internet today.” Jim Breyer, CEO of Breyer Capital and partner at Accel Partners, said of his investment in Circle, “The global transformation in payments made possible by Bitcoin and digital currency is one of the most significant investment opportunities in the past 30 years.” In October 2013, Circle launched with a US$9 million Series A from Jim Breyer, Accel Partners, and General Catalyst Partners. In March 2014, Circle closed a US$17 million Series B in a round led by Breyer Capital, Accel Partners, General Catalyst Partners, and Oak Investment Partners. They were joined in the round by Pantera Capital; the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund of Barry Silbert, founder and chief executive officer of SecondMarket, Inc. and founder of the Bitcoin Investment Trust; Leonard H. Schrank, former chief executive officer of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift); and Circle board member M. Michele Burns. Fenway Summer, a leading consumer finance advisory and venture firm led by Circle board member Raj Date, former Deputy Director of the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was also an investor in the Series B financing. In March 2014, Circle announced that it is the first and only virtual currency company to join the U.S. Treasury’s Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group, a prominent organization of regulatory and law-enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and trade associations that advise the United States Department of the Treasury regarding operations of the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires financial institutions to work with U.S. government agencies to prevent and detect money laundering. In March 2014, Circle debuted its product to a limited audience. In September 2014, Circle opened its doors to a global audience, enabling the buying and use of bitcoin anywhere in the world. Circle offers full insurance for the value of users’ deposits and allows for the free purchase and use of bitcoin, both unprecedented developments in the industry.

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