LeoGlossary: Circle (Cryptocurrency Company)

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The FinTech company behind USDC.

It is a provide of a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment technology. Individuals and businesses can make payments direct to each other through a mobile application.

In 2013, Circle Internet Financial Limited by Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire. They set out to build a new kind of payment network that could be used anywhere in the world, across currencies, borders, and devices.


The company was started by receiving venture capital funding in the amount of $135 million. This took place in 4 rounds, from 2013-2016.

On May 15, 2018, Circle raised $110 million in venture capital to create USD Coin, an Ethereum coin they claim is backed by USD. There is some question to the backing since Circle still is not publicly audited.

USDC is an ERC-20 token.

Stablecoin Provider

Circle started with the focus of being a payment processor. Since that time, it has evolved into something different.

It acquired its first BitLicense in September 2015 from New York State Department of Financial Services.

Circle's mobile payment platform, Circle Pay, allowed users to hold, send, and receive traditional fiat currencies, until being slated for discontinuation in 2019. Up until December 2016, Circle Pay also operated as a Bitcoin wallet service to buy and sell Bitcoins. It has since ceased to provide such service, claiming the company "is now more than ever not a consumer bitcoin exchange, and will continue to focus resources on global social payments and future next-generation blockchain technology".

It discontinued Circle Pay mobile in June 2019 with web applications by the end of the year.

With the money raise in 2018, Circle moved into the stablecoin market. The main competitor at the time was Tether.

USD Coin, or USDC, is an asset backed security with a reserve holding US Treasuries and US dollar in cash form.

The company now focuses exclusively on the cryptocurrency industry.


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