Kraken Acquires Circle Trade OTC Desk as Circle Focuses on Its Stablecoin

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by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Kraken Acquires Circle Trade OTC Desk as Circle Focuses on Its Stablecoin
Photo: Coinspeaker

Kraken has announced that it acquired the Circle Trade OTC platform. While specific details are unknown, Circle’s decision to offload its OTC desk was done to focus on its stablecoin USDC.

According to an official blog post published yesterday, Kraken has acquired Circle Trade – Circle’s over-the-counter (OTC) platform. The statement says that Kraken sees Circle Trade as “one of the most recognized OTC desks in crypto” and the team is very excited about the acquisition.

The statement also includes further details expected from the acquisition. Firstly, the company expects that the fact that its services would now be expanded and a lot more capable will attract new trading partners from many parts of Asia but also the rest of the world as well. Kraken also promises that all supported assets will have deeper liquidity and tighter spreads. Furthermore, the new offering from the acquisition will have advanced tools to make the entire trade process – from quote initiation all the way to settlement – a lot more seamless.

According to an official Circle blog post written by Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, the company made this move as part of its “sharpened 2020 focus”. The focus includes a decision to pay more attention to its stablecoin – the USD Coin (USDC) – meaning that it must, therefore, shed some weight. Kraken’s acquisition of Circle Trade gives the company a lot more space to do so.

“Focusing effectively on stablecoin platforms means we must reduce complexity, tighten our product portfolio, and organize our teams to execute with greater agility.”

Circle’s Changes

In the last few months, Circle has made a few significant changes that have been hard to ignore. Back in September, the company shut down its Circle Pay app and by October, it announced that Poloniex had been sold. It also announced that the company has become Polo Digital Assets, Ltd.

The Circle publication also announced changes to management. Chief Financial Officer Naeem Ishaq and Chief Legal Officer Gus Coldebella will leave their respective roles, even though Coldebella will continue to serve Circle in an advisory position. Also, Co-founder Sean Neville will leave his position as CEO but “will remain connected to the company as an independent director on the Circle Board of Directors. At the moment, there’s no public word on why Sean decided to leave.

On the strength of the Circle team as 2020 approaches, the post says:

“In 2020, we will continue to focus on building and growing our talented teams of people to execute on Circle’s next phase. We welcome outreach from people who share a belief in our mission of building an open global financial system.”

Kraken has also said that its OTC desk which for about 2 years now has been steered by Wall Street veteran Nelson Minier, will now have at least 20 related professionals which will be “deepening our ability to provide the personal, white-glove service that you expect from Kraken.”

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Tolu Ajiboye
Author Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.

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