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May 17, 2018
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Bitmain Leads $3 Billion Crypto Exchange Circle’s $110 Million Series E Round

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Goldman Sachs-backed cryptocurrency exchange Circle now has a new investor to its name, the Chinese crypto mining giant Bitmain.

A new investment round led by Bitmain values the exchange at $3 Billion and also includes other notable names like Accel and Blockchain Capital.

Along with the new funding round, Circle also announced their plans for a new stable cryptocurrency, Circle USD (USDC) which would be pegged to the US dollar. Circle claims unlike their competitors, the stable coin would be based on the open source fiat stable coin framework developed and governed by CENTRE.

Initially announced late last year, CENTRE is an open-source initiative from Circle which would allow both cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies to be transferred in a digital form, running on Ethereum Blockchain with its own ERC-20 token. CENTRE will be defined by a set of open-source protocols that manage the network and transfer funds.

Further, Circle claims they would be open to detailed and transparent financial & operational audits since they operate within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws. USDC would be an ERC-20 Token on the Ethereum Network based on the network rules defined by CENTRE.

As an institutional exchange with high volume trading, Circle recently, they doubled their minimum order size from $250,000 to $500,000. The firm reported that it was handling over $2 Billion worth OTC trades every month. Circle claims their average order values are $1 Million.

Early this year, Circle acquired popular cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex in a massive deal worth $400 Million. Unlike Circle, Poloniex is an exchange for the common people with low volume orders.

According to an official statement from Circle in their blog post:

Bitmain is one of the most important and forward-thinking companies in crypto, and has become a critical infrastructure provider for the entire crypto economy. Bitmain Co-founder and CEO Jihan Wu is well known for espousing a vision similar to ours regarding the creation and adoption of a new global economy powered by cryptographic assets, distributed contracts, and open source blockchain technology. We are excited to be working directly with Bitmain on realizing our shared vision.

Bitmain will also join CENTRE in building USDC. Circle claims the partnership will help drive global interoperability that benefits consumers, business ventures, institutions, and marketplaces everywhere.

While Goldman Sachs did not participate in the current round, they were a major investor in one of the previous rounds. Goldman Sachs also announced their intent to add a Bitcoin trading desk and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if they partnered with Circle for it.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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