Circle is a peer-to-peer technology company. It was founded in October 2013 by Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville. Circle Pay's mobile payment platform, Circle Pay, allows users to hold, send and receive traditional currencies. In September 2015, Circle received the first BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services. In April 2016, the UK government approved Circle's first virtual currency license. Circle is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Until December 2016, Circle Pay also acted as bitcoin wallet service for buying and selling bitcoins. It has since stopped providing such a service, claiming that "more than ever, the company is not a bitcoin consumer business and will continue to focus on global social payments and future blockchain technology of the next generation."
From 2013 to 2016, the Company has received over $ 135 million in venture capital from four rounds of investment, including $ 50 million under Goldman Sachs' leadership. In April 2015, New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper wrote that Goldman Sachs' investment should help solidify Bitcoin's reputation as a technology that serious financial companies can work with. In June 2016, Circle raised $ 60 million in Series D funds, which were supported by new and existing partners.
Services and features
As of 2015, a Circle account in USD can be deposited via "US Visa and MasterCard Credit and Debit Cards", US bank accounts. From 2016 European customers can also use Circle in EUR and GBP. The exchange rate of the circle is not tied to a specific exchange rate and may fluctuate at other Bitcoin exchange rates, but according to the president of the circle, "this is simply never an income generator". The UK Financial Conduct Authority granted Circle an e-money license in April 2016, extending its use of the Circle services to the UK and extending Circle's relationship with UK bank Barclays. In June 2016, Circle announced that it will begin expanding its services to China, where CEO Jeremy Allaire sees "the opportunity for Chinese consumers who want to share worldwide value with friends in other parts of the world."
In December 2016, the Circle app no longer supported the Bitcoin exchange but continues to allow money transfers. In October 2017, Circle introduced a new service for group payments and cash transfers to US accounts.