Boston-based bitcoin services provider Circle, which earlier allowed its customers to make transfers only in virtual currency, has enabled the users of its app in the United States to make payments with US dollars. The new function is in line with the company’s strategy to simplify international money transfers using bitcoin.
“You can enjoy the benefits of Bitcoin without ever holding or buying bitcoin yourself, and without being exposed to bitcoin price volatility. Even if you prefer to hold US dollars in your Circle account, you gain security, speed, and open interoperability with bitcoin wallets and services around the globe. You can hold US dollars but still send someone bitcoin, and likewise someone can send you bitcoin and Circle can instantly turn it into US dollars in your account,” the company said in a blog post.
Circle Pay’s users will be able to make international transfers and change currencies, dollars to yuan or euro, at any time for free. The service will allow immigrants to easily send funds to their families in their native countries, instead of using exchanges, which usually charge a fee. The app’s users can send dollars or virtual currency to anyone with a bitcoin wallet, but those who receive dollars must have a Circle account.
Circle has also introduced a number of new features for its application, including free and immediate debit cards transfers. For sending money to your account with a debit card, Circle will charge no fees.
Credit card transfers will be performed instantly as well, but this time you will have to pay a fee. The users will also be able to send funds through a bank account for free, but it can take a few days to complete a payment.
Among other new features, are higher spending limits. The customers will be able to spend from $300 per week to $3,000. Meantime, the new accounts start with a limit of $300 monthly.
In addition to these new features, Circle was granted the first BitLicense from the New York authorities, what allows the company to legally operate in the state. Besides, the company owns a Money Transfer License for US dollar transactions in the state of New York.
The BitLicense is a regulation developed to ensure payment companies know who their clients are with an aim of minimizing money laundering risk and protecting customers.
Circle was founded in 2013 by Jeremy Allaire and now serves customers in more than 300 countries all over the world. The company has raised $76 million venture capital from Goldman Sachs, General Catalyst Partners, Pantera Capital and others, to establish a tech platform for storing money.