Bitcoin

Circle Says Client Base Growing Despite Bitcoin Collapse

Crypto finance startup Circle isn’t hurting after bitcoin’s recent plunge. In fact, the company has seen a surge in hedge funds and other major investors joining its platform.

According to CNBC, the Goldman Sachs-backed company said that month over month it had a 30 percent boost in new clients and was doing 15 times more transaction volume each day than a year ago. This is despite the fact that bitcoin has plummeted more than 50 percent this year.

To keep up with the volume, Circle just announced that it was making “Circle Trade” automated so investors can place orders without having to talk to a person.

“In May, which was a challenging month, we saw a sharp increase of unique new counter-parties,” Circle founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire told CNBC in a phone interview. “A lot of folks on the institutional side are on-boarding, and getting their ducks in the row.”

Until recently, Circle employees would have to manually quote a price over an instant messaging platform such as Skype, then authorize those trades. Now the platform, which facilitates around $2 billion in trades every month, will be able to handle orders and settlements through an automated process.

“Major institutional investors don’t go through a telephone broker. They go through an electronic interface,” Allaire said. “We’re maturing this into a more traditional product; it’s much faster and a more flexible way to trade.”

Circle Trade is one of the largest cryptocurrency trading desks for institutional investors, with a $250,000 minimum order size. The company also operates a peer-to-peer payment network using blockchain.

Earlier this month, the company said it has had early talks with regulators about obtaining a banking license in the U.S. With a license, Circle could offer its customers more financial services. To enable its customers to trade securities, for example, Circle is reportedly seeking to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a brokerage and trading venue.

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