Chinese Crypto Giant Bitmain Leads $150 Mln Investment in Circle

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 18:35
Urvashi Verma
The E series funding round led by Bitmain takes Circle’s valuation to $3 bln.
Cover image via U.Today

Chinese crypto-mining giant Bitmain led a $110 mln series E funding round for Circle crypto exchange driving Circle’s valuation to $3 bln, Wednesday.

Circle unveiled plans to introduce a price-stable cryptocurrency, the Circle USDC (USD Coin), which will be pegged to USD and developed by CENTRE on an open source fiat coin framework.

In an official statement on Circle’s blog the company says:

Circle USDC (USD Coin) is a solution that enables customers to purchase and use USDC fiat tokens for payments and trading in the crypto ecosystem.

The company says that a price-stable token is essential for enabling critical adoption of Blockchain technology for payments and smart contracts for securities, loans and property.  

The integration would enable both crypto and fiat currencies to be transferred in a digital form, using the Ethereum Blockchain ERC-20 token.

Bitmain will collaborate with CENTRE to create the currency.


Unlike existing fiat-backed approaches that lacked financial and operational transparency, Circle USDC will operate within the regulated framework of money transmission laws and will be reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.

Circle, which recently added privacy coins Monero and Zcash to its platform, says it has been managing more than $2 bln in over-the-counter monthly trade volumes with average orders of $1 mln. The company recently doubled its minimum order amount to $500,000 from $250,000.
In addition to Bitmain, a number of other venture capital firms including Accel, Blockchain Capital, DG Capital, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, Digital Currency Group, Pantera and Tusk Ventures participated in the late stage funding round.

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About the author

Urvashi Verma is a Chicago-based reporter who writes about the convergence of technology and business. She is interested in fintech, digital currencies, blockchain and currency markets. Urvashi formerly worked with the Times of Israel covering Israel's booming tech industry including Start-Up Nation, venture capital investment, and crowd-funding platforms.

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