Cryptocurrency firm Circle to go public in SPAC deal • TechCrunch

Circle has announced that it plans to develop into a public firm. The cryptocurrency firm will merge with Harmony Acquisition Corp, a SPAC. Circle is best often called one of many founding members of the Centre consortium with Coinbase. Together with different crypto partners, they’ve issued USD Coin (USDC), a preferred stablecoin.

A SPAC is a publicly traded blank-check firm. Merging with a SPAC has develop into a preferred option to develop into a publicly listed firm for tech firms.

In keeping with Circle, the deal ought to worth the corporate at $4.5 billion. Traders 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 can have loads of capital on its fingers if the merger goes via.

Created in 2013, the corporate initially wished to create a mainstream bitcoin payment platform. However the firm later pivoted to create a social funds app. Circle turned a form of Venmo clone with some blockchain expertise beneath the hood. Sooner or later, Circle even removed the power to ship and obtain bitcoins.

“We by no means considered ourselves as a bitcoin startup. The media actually categorized us that approach 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 making an attempt to construct a brand new shopper 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 shopper play didn’t take off, it’s attention-grabbing to see that Allaire was already eager about with the ability to programmatically transfer cash. In 2017 and 2018, the corporate pivoted as soon as once more to give attention to cryptocurrencies. It launched an over-the-counter buying and selling desk for large 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 property.

However Circle’s most promising product has been its stablecoin — USD Coin, or USDC for brief. Because the identify suggests, 1 USDC is at all times price 1 USD. Not like conventional cryptocurrencies, you’ll be able to make sure that the worth of USDC isn’t going to fluctuate like loopy. Auditing companies commonly verify that issuers at all times maintain 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 varied 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 companies that make the most of USDC.

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