Goldman Sachs-backed cryptocurrency firm Circle is gearing up to discontinue support for its social payment app, dubbed ‘Circle Pay,’ which has been available in 29 countries including the US, UK, and some EU countries.
The decision represents a notable shift in product direction for Circle which recently laid off roughly 30 people, or about 10 percent of its staff, citing regulatory uncertainties.
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The changes, which are beginning to roll out now, will see the Circle Pay service phasing out support for making payments and charging users effective July 8. Over time, users will see even less functionality, and eventually, the company will fully deprecate all support for Circle Pay on September 30.
The news was reported in a blog post by the startup, which stated that it believes the future of finance will be built on open blockchain technology.
“All Circle Pay customers should cash out their funds today. Customers who currently hold Bitcoin in Circle Pay are also encouraged to send BTC funds to another wallet such as a Poloniex account,” it explains.
Different crypto focused verticals
The move comes as Circle has expanded into a wide range of crypto-related business, including Circle Invest, which enables purchases of 11 different coins and Circle Trade, an OTC marketplace that handles turnover of more than $2 billion each month.
Circle also owns crypto exchange Poloniex, which trades over 100 cryptocurrencies, and most recently announced the acquisition of SeedInvest, an alternative trading system licensed under FINRA. There are rumors that Circle will apply for a banking license too.
The takeover of SeedInvest has put the Boston-based digital-asset exchange on a firmer regulatory footing and positions it to offer a broader range of blockchain-based securities. It also allows the platform to perform all operations in a regulatory compliant manner.
After winning the regulatory approval, Circle is now capable of offering blockchain-based securities, under the oversight of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Circle, which is reportedly seeking to raise $250 million in new funding, has been plowing money back into areas other than its flagship exchange Poloniex. The company has recently expanded support to its USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, adding more than 100 exchanges, wallets, platforms, apps, and service providers to the ecosystem.