Bitcoin remains key despite previous signals to Circle’s Strategy
Circle Financial seems to have been executing a 180 degree shift in their strategy after having spent a couple of years in making an impressive shift in the focus from cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin; thereby boosting their crypto-related offerings in a series of moves that most say they see that they are positioning themselves on the same platform and as a competitor to Coinbase.
2016: Circle distances themselves from Bitcoin
Circle was founded in the year 2013. Just like the same working fundamentals of non-crypto platforms like Square and Venmo, Circle had Circle Pay which initially had positioned itself as a peer-to-peer bitcoin only payments solution. As they began to expand, there had been some apparent shift in the direction. Co-Founder of Circle, Jeremy Allaire’s very famous declaration in the year 2016 mentioned that the whole phase of Bitcoin will be obsolete in a decades time.
Hence, going in-line with the thinking of the co-founder, Circle Pay stopped supporting the on-platform Bitcoin purchases in 2016 but still made complete use of the Bitcoin blockchain for back-end functions. The major reasoning behind this thinking was the idea that Bitcoin was a short-lived bubble, but the technology that it used – Blockchain, was to survive for the long run and will be a game shifter and also the real winner from the cryptocurrency boom.
2018: A change in face
Circle has ramped their crypto service investment offerings in the very recent months. They have acquired Poloniex (a Bitcoin exchange) and rolled out other services that support Circle Invest (Retail crypto trading) and Circle Trade (Institutional Crypto Trading).
This change in strategy has not gone unnoticed nor unobserved. Several well-known analysts have already started to mention that the entire strategy of Circle invest and the even Circle’s strategy has now come close to looking very similar to that of Coinbase, both, in terms of target market and in terms of operations. Cirlce now looks like they are growing into a complete end to end full-service crypto investment company.
However, the co-founder Sean Neville does not agree to this notion and states boldly:
“We never left bitcoin. We believe in bitcoin. Everything that we’re doing is based on crypto assets and underlying blockchain technology. We’re not necessarily bitcoin maximalists, it’s not necessarily the perfect thing for everything that we’re doing, but it’s extremely valuable and a core component of what we’re doing…[Circle Invest] is aimed at someone who wants to get involved in trading crypto assets but needs somewhat of a guided experience. We provide things like custody. It’s a really simple way to acquire multiple kinds of tokens in just a couple of taps.”