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Circle stops Bitcoin purchase and sale

Circle, one of the earliest and most-funded startups in the Bitcoin industry, announced about stopping selling and buying cryptocurrency.


For the first time Bitcoin startup hinted about it in the blog the day before yesterday late at night.

An except from this blog states:

"We treat the payments as daily operations, so we immerse ourselves headlong into blockchain next-generation technology and not in the purchase and sale of Bitcoin."

While Circle stopped purchase and sale of Bitcoin, the company will continue to allow customers to spend Bitcoins within their registered accounts, as well as receive cryptocurrency on Bitcoin address tied to a user's account.

This may seem a little strange, but now Circle's users, who will need to buy or sell Bitcoins, will be able to make it through Coinbase service, a Circle's competitor in the past, which now acts as a "preferred partner."

Currently, users, who want to withdraw their reserves in Bitcoins from the Circle accounts, can send them to the desired address or cash in fiat currencies through the attached bank card or account.

This information was confirmed once again by Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire in their blog, telling that preparation for release of blokcheyn Spark protocol assisted the adoption of such solution.

The company plans to move in the direction of Spark's development, which will provide "a set of additions to the protocol, which provides from digital wallets to cost exchange with blockchains, including Bitcoins, as settlement layers."

In addition, the founders said their vision is to make the money work as easily as the Internet works. Therefore, to achieve their goals they are currently engaged in the development of Spark – "blockchain next-generation technology," as Circle calls it.

Substantiating further the decision to change the direction of the company co-founders said:

"We have never tried to convince consumers to replace their home currencies for Bitcoin. Instead, we wanted to bring the benefits of public blockchains and digital assets to consumers, without requiring them to know the technical details."

Spark was designed accordingly to certain key requirements, including full compliance with KYC / AML (Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering) requirements worldwide.

Scaling problems of Bitcoin

Circle's co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire also hinted at another reason, which allowed a startup to easily abandon Bitcoin.

Speaking at the Wall Street Journal, Allaire said:

"History is one of almost deadlock among the major developers, while the leading companies continue using this technology. We were deeply disappointed by the lack of progress, but we need to move forward."

Spark is expected to be declared as an open source project with the code, which is scheduled for release this week. Its implementation will also be available for Circle in two new markets of South Korea and the Philippines.

As a result, users will be able to engage in direct transfers of fiat currencies from the US, the UK and European countries to the Philippines and South Korea.

One of the best-funded startups in the Bitcoin industry Circle recently raised $60 million in a round of financing to expand operations in China. Circle is also the first startup that received BitLicense in New York, and the license for activities related to electronic money in the UK.


  • December 9, 2016 4:49 PM MSK