Circle Grabs $110M, Will Launch US Dollar-Backed Cryptocurrency


Boston-based Circle announced Tuesday it raised $110 million in a Series E equity funding round, and it plans to launch a new cryptocurrency pegged to the price of the USA dollar and backed by reserves of the fiat currency. Led by China-based mining outfit Bitmain, the round includes support from Accel, Blockchain Capital, Breyer, Digital Currency Group, General Catalyst, IDG, Pantera and Tusk Ventures. Jumping on the Ethereum bandwagon Following the close of the round, Circle said it would create a new cryptocurrency, that uses the Ethereum blockchain, with it's value "pegged to the price of the US dollar", according to Reuters. "People will also not be able to mine the USD Coin in the same way other cryptocurrencies can be generated, as the only way to acquire them is to buy them".

Bitmain will be involved with Centre and help launch coins linked to other fiat currencies, or legal tender, according to Circle.

"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. Again, this pretty much goes against the whole point of cryptocurrencies, which were originally created to present a transparent financial market free of regulation from federal government and the influence of big banks.

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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.

Since the start of the 2017 crypto asset boom and re-emergence of digital money in the mainstream mindset, Circle began making new plays in the space.

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.

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Since you need to give Circle one (1) dollar every time you would like one (1) dollarcoin please, it seems like the currency will serve more as an open-source Venmo, where you can pay for things with a digital cryptocurrency instead of paying with a debit or credit card.

Goldman Sachs backed institutional cryptocurrency exchange has just added a new investor to its list, the Chinese crypto mining firm Bitmain.

Circle says the goal of their Dollars coin is to provide "detailed financial and operational transparency, operating within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws". We are excited to be working directly with Bitmain on realizing our shared vision. USDC will be an ERC-20 token, based on the Ethereum network. (The company said more announcements on the project are expected this summer).

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