Circle Raises $110M in Series E Round from Chinese Bitcoin Miner Bitmain

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 4 min read
Circle Raises $110M in Series E Round from Chinese Bitcoin Miner Bitmain
Photo: Circle / Twitter

The partnership with Bitmain will enable Circle issue USD Coin and help push forwards its drive in improving its products and services.

In the past few months, Goldman-backed crypto startup ‘Circle’ is seen pushing-up-the-ante and places an aggressive focus on expanding its products and services. In its latest official press release, the company had a slew of announcements where it disclosed its partnership with China’s biggest Bitcoin mining company ‘Bitmain’. Moreover, the company has also announced the release of its USD Coin, a digital cryptocurrency pegged with the U.S Dollar that would be used on the Poloniex exchange, which circle acquired a few months back in a whopping $400 million deal, as was previously reported by Coinspeaker.

Circle and Bitmain Enter a Strategic Partnership

On Tuesday, May 15th, Circle announced a strategic partnership with Bitmain where the latter is said to have invested $110 million in Circle for the development of the CENTRE platform and the USDC project. The latest Series E fundraising round was led by Bitmain and also included support from other companies like IDG Capital, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, Accel, Digital Currency Group, and Pantera along with two new investing participants Tusk Ventures and Blockchain Capital.

Circle announced this new partnership on its Twitter:

In a statement, the company said:

“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. Bitmain Co-founder and CEO Jihan Wu is well known for espousing a vision similar to ours regarding the creation and adoption of a new global economy powered by cryptographic assets, distributed contracts, and open source blockchain technology. We are excited to be working directly with Bitmain on realizing our shared vision.”

Circle also said that the partnership with Bitmain will help to push forward CENTRE’s efforts towards having a stablecoin backed by multiple fiat currencies, and will thus provide financial interoperability that will benefit business ventures, consumers, institutions and marketplaces across the globe.

Circle further noted that Bitmain will help CENTRE introduce multiple fiat stablecoins in a variety of geo-currency zones.

Circle Announces the Launch of Fiat-backed USD Coin

After Circle acquired popular cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex earlier this year, the company has been seen making some developmental changes with respect to the services of the platform. Circle has now introduced a new stablecoin called USD Coin, which value at any given time will be fixed and equal to one U.S Dollar.

This way users would be able to freeze their money without worrying about changes in the valuations of the U.S Dollar due to global economic fluctuations. Additionally, the stablecoin will facilitate easy crypto-to-crypto trading rather than opting for fiat-to-crypto conversions and paying high commission fees.

Earlier, Poloniex was using the USDT token by Tether, however, after a lot of questions being raised about the suspicious operations of Tether in the recent past, Circle decided to have its own stablecoin. Circle says that their USD Coin (USDC) has more advantages over other stablecoins because the company itself complies with national banking standards and, secondly, that it is an ERC20 token based on the widely used Ethereum blockchain network.

“Existing fiat-backed approaches have lacked financial and operational transparency, have operated in unregulated jurisdictions with unknown banking and audit partners, and have been built as closed-loop ecosystems and closed proprietary technologies,” the company said in a statement. “Circle USDC addresses these problems by providing detailed financial and operational transparency, operating within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and reinforced by established banking partners and auditors. It is built on an open source framework with an open membership scheme that eligible Financial Institutions (FI) can participate in (CENTRE). USDC will be ERC-20 tokens minted, issued, and redeemed based on network rules defined by CENTRE,” they further added.

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