Circle, a crypto finance backed by Goldman Sachs, has announced plans to launch a cryptocurrency backed one-to-one with USD in an effort that CNBC described as a mission to “make a better, faster, digital version of the U.S. dollar.”
Crypto-mining firm Bitmain led a successful $110 million fundraising campaign for Circle’s new initiative that closed earlier this week. Participants included Digital Currency Group, Accel, Tusk Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Breyer, General Catalyst, IDG, and Pantera. Circle is currently estimated to be worth roughly $3 million.
Boston-based @circlepay Raises a $110M Series E Round and Launches a New Crypto-Dollar https://t.co/jSgBQfxPGa
— BostInno (@BostInno) May 15, 2018
”An Incredible Amount of Power for the Dollar”
Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire described the currency as “basically a dollar that operates on blockchain, and said that the effort will “[unlock] an incredible amount of power for the dollar.”
Allaire’s vision for the pegged currency includes “open-protocols that would enable the free movement of value. A real critical piece is there has to be open, interoperable standards for our how fiat money can move over blockchains. That’s where fiat stablecoins and payment protocols come into play.”
Circle USDC will be based on the open source fiat stablecoin framework developed by CENTRE. The https://t.co/4CQo8oqk6e network enables crytpo exchanges and wallets around the world to interoperate using stablecoins and standard protocols.
Read the latest CENTRE whitepaper here
— Circle (@circlepay) May 15, 2018
Circle has gained a reputation as one of the world’s most well-funded startups, boasting an impressive list of investors, including GS and Baidu.
A “Compliant Alternative”
Circle’s ‘pegged’ currency, dubbed ‘USDC’, is not the only ‘pegged’ currency on the market. Companies like Tether, TrueUSD, and Basis have already been operating in the space for some time.
However, Allaire believes that Circle’s currency will fulfill a need for a “compliant alternative” to the pegged currencies currently on the market: “when I look at the convergence of traditional finance and the crypto space, it’s begging for that. There are a number of banks who are excited about it and will support it.”
The company reportedly has vague plans to eventually release pegged versions of the Euro and the Pound as well. CNBC reported that “it’s less likely they’ll immediately look to peg most Asian currencies because of existing competition in that arena.”