Circle has announced that it plans to turn into a public firm. The cryptocurrency firm will merge with Harmony Acquisition Corp, a SPAC. Circle is best often known as one of many founding members of the Centre consortium with Coinbase. Together with different crypto partners, they’ve issued USD Coin (USDC), a well-liked stablecoin.
A SPAC is a publicly traded blank-check firm. Merging with a SPAC has turn into a well-liked strategy to turn into a publicly listed firm for tech firms.
Based on Circle, the deal ought to worth the corporate at $4.5 billion. Buyers concerned within the merger have dedicated $415 million in PIPE financing. The corporate additionally just lately raised $440 million in capital. In different phrases, Circle may have loads of capital on its arms if the merger goes by.
Created in 2013, the corporate initially needed to create a mainstream bitcoin payment platform. However the firm later pivoted to create a social funds app. Circle grew to become a kind of Venmo clone with some blockchain expertise underneath the hood. In some unspecified time in the future, Circle even removed the flexibility to ship and obtain bitcoins.
“We by no means considered ourselves as a bitcoin startup. The media actually labeled us that manner as a result of we have been concerned with the expertise. From the day we based the corporate three years in the past we’ve targeted on attempting to construct a brand new client finance firm. And one which makes cash work the way in which the Web works,” Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire instructed TechCrunch’s Natasha Lomas in 2016.
Whereas that client play didn’t take off, it’s fascinating to see that Allaire was already occupied with having the ability to programmatically transfer cash. In 2017 and 2018, the corporate pivoted as soon as once more to deal with cryptocurrencies. It launched an over-the-counter buying and selling desk for giant cryptocurrency traders.
It acquired Poloniex, one of many largest cryptocurrency exchanges within the U.S. on the time. It additionally launched Circle Make investments, a very easy cellular app that allow you to purchase and promote a handful of crypto belongings.
However Circle’s most promising product has been its stablecoin — USD Coin, or USDC for brief. Because the title suggests, 1 USDC is all the time value 1 USD. Not like conventional cryptocurrencies, you’ll be able to ensure that the worth of USDC isn’t going to fluctuate like loopy. Auditing corporations frequently test that issuers all the time preserve as many USD in financial institution accounts as USDC in circulation.
With USDC, shifting cash from one pockets to a different turns into as simple as utilizing commonplace API calls. The corporate has then added numerous infrastructure merchandise round USDC, reminiscent of Circle Accounts. Circle has additionally constructed ramps to bridge the hole between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies.
There are at present $25 billion USDC in circulation and the corporate believes there’ll $190 billion USDC in circulation by the top of 2023. And Circle plans to leverage the recognition of USDC to construct monetary providers that reap the benefits of USDC.