Circle’s full-tilt pivot into stablecoins is nearly complete.
The payments startup intends to sell SeedInvest, the crowdfunding platform it bought a year ago, and focus its remaining assets on developing stablecoin products, said Jeremy Allaire, one of Circle’s co-founders and its remaining CEO (fellow co-founder and one-time co-CEO Sean Neville stepped down last year).
As part of this process, on Tuesday the company will roll out new APIs and Circle Business Accounts, which corporate clients can use to conduct business in USDC, a token on the ethereum blockchain designed to hold its value against the U.S. dollar.
Circle has multiple revenue streams, Allaire told CoinDesk in an interview last month. But to maximize its research and development wings, its focus since last summer has been on new products centered around the USDC token, which Circle issues. Circle is also part of the CENTRE Consortium with Coinbase, which Allaire said created the standards around stablecoin issuance.
However, the story of Circle in recent months has been what it’s lost. In the past year, Circle has sold Poloniex, the crypto exchange it acquired in 2018; shuttered Circle Pay, its longstanding payments app; sold Circle Invest to brokerage firm Voyager; sold its Circle Trade over-the-counter desk to Kraken; and is now looking to sell SeedInvest (as The Block first reported).
SeedInvest no longer fits into what Allaire sees as Circle’s core business, he explained. The “strategic rationale for acquiring” the firm centered around Circle’s trading business.
“We were excited about this idea of tokenization and having tokens that were issued connected to all kinds of assets,” he said. “We exited the exchange business … so the need for that set of licensing just doesn’t exist anymore. The second thing is this whole kind of tokenization, having regulated broker-dealers and tokenized securities, that’s been slow-rolled” by cautious regulators.
The company has seen its…