Circle, the Boston-based, Goldman Sachs-backed payment company, announced Monday that it has acquired major US-based cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. The move is aimed to bolster its offering and further Circle’s commitment to changing the face of global finance.
The acquisition was announced via Circle’s official blog, with Circle Co-Founders Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville explaining the motive behind the purchase:
Built upon a foundation of blockchain technology and crypto assets, Circle is on a mission to make it possible for everyone, everywhere to create and share value. Circle Pay helps people around the globe connect to one another and share value just as they would share any other kind of content on the open borderless internet; Circle Trade serves institutions and investors as one of the world’s largest providers of crypto asset liquidity; and our forthcoming Circle Invest app enables individuals to tap into crypto asset investment through a simple, seamless, mobile experience.
They further added:
Now Poloniex addresses another key element of Circle’s product foundation: An open global token marketplace.
Circle presently operates its app-based peer-to-peer on the blockchain, and its Circle Trade desk represents over $2 billion a month in crypto transactions. The clients are primarily compromised of wealthy, large-sized investors with minimum deals starting at $250,000.
Rumors had been circulating about the buyout since the beginning of February. According to a source, speaking to Fortune’s Robert Hackett, the deal cost Circle approximately $400 million.
Circle plans to expand upon Poloniex’s solid foundation to create a much broader marketplace, said Circle co-founders:
"We envision a robust multi-sided distributed marketplace that can host tokens which represent everything of value: physical goods, fundraising and equity, real estate, creative productions such as works of art, music and literature, service leases and time-based rentals, credit, futures, and more,”
Circle is one of the most well-funded blockchain startups, with big name investors such as Goldman Sachs, IDG Capital Partners, Breyer Capital, Baidu, and many more. Coinmarketcap lists, Poloniex as the 14th largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume. The acquisition will give Circle strong footing to go toe-to-toe with Coinbase which is currently the biggest player in the United States.