Circle is a peer-to-peer payments technology company that manages the popular stablecoin USDC, a cryptocurrency the value of which is pegged to the U.S. dollar. It was founded by Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville in October 2013. Circle is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. USDC is currently valued at $44 billion.
The company has received over US$135 million in venture capital from 4 rounds of investments from 2013 to 2016, including US$50 million led by Goldman Sachs. In April 2015 The New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper wrote that the Goldman Sachs investment "should help solidify Bitcoin’s reputation as a technology that serious financial firms can work with." In June 2016, Circle raised US$60 million in Series D funding backed by new and existing partners. On May 15, 2018, Circle raised US$110 million in venture capital to create USD Coin, an Ethereum coin they claim is backed by USD.
In April 2022, Circle Internet Financial announced an agreement for a US$400M funding round with investments from BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, Marshall Wace LLP and Fin Capital, expected to close in the second quarter.
In September 2015, Circle received the first BitLicense issued from the New York State Department of Financial Services. In April 2016, the British government approved the first virtual currency licensure to Circle.
Circle's mobile payment platform, Circle Pay, allowed users to hold, send, and receive traditional fiat currencies, until being slated for discontinuation in 2019. Up until December 2016, Circle Pay also operated as a Bitcoin wallet service to buy and sell Bitcoins. It has since ceased to provide such service, claiming the company "is now more than ever not a consumer bitcoin exchange, and will continue to focus resources on global social payments and future next-generation blockchain technology".
In June 2019 it was announced that the Circle Pay mobile and web apps would be discontinued on September 30.
In February 2020, Circle sold its digital asset trading platform to Voyager Digital.
In July 2021, Circle announced a plan to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company called Concord Acquisition Corp in a $4.5 billion deal that would make Circle a public company. However, in December 2022 this deal was terminated.
In 2023, at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Allaire said the United States needs new statutory definitions of digital assets to provide regulatory clarity. He also said he hoped Circle will be regulated by the U.S. Federal Reserve and become an established financial player in order to distinguish the company from recent implosions in the crypto industry.
On 10 March 2023, $3.3 billion of its $40 billion USD Coin reserves remain at Silicon Valley Bank, which was closed that day.