Circle, a payments and cryptocurrency company that raised over $100 million from leading venture capital firms and financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, has announced today, Feb. 26, that they have acquired major US-based cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex for $400 mln, according to the Fortune reports.
The company noted that under the umbrella of Circle Trade, Poloniex will begin to provide significant liquidity and an efficient trading platform for investors in the global cryptocurrency market. With Circle’s resources and capital, Poloniex will be able to scale effectively, with risk, compliance, and technical operations handled by the Circle team.
“Circle Trade serves institutions and investors as one of the world’s largest providers of crypto asset liquidity; and our forthcoming Circle Invest app enables individuals to tap into crypto asset investment through a simple, seamless, mobile experience. Now Poloniex addresses another key element of Circle’s product foundation: An open global token marketplace,” said Circle.
At one point, Poloniex was the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the global market, before the entrance of major cryptocurrency trading platforms like Bittrex and Binance. It was the first exchange to offer cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency trading at a large scale.
In the upcoming months, the Circle development team is expected to focus on improving the infrastructure of Poloniex in terms scalability, reliability, and robustness. The Circle team further emphasized that it will allocate its resources in supporting tokens or crypto assets, and introducing fiat pairs with which traders can trade between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies like the US dollar and British pound. The Circle team said:
“We also look forward to scaling Poloniex up and out through market expansion and localization, increasing token listings where possible and appropriate, and exploring the fiat USD, EUR, and GBP connectivity that Circle already brings to its compliant Pay, Trade, and Invest products. More on these efforts to come.”
Within 6 months, Binance became the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, adding more than a million users per month. On average, Binance records over $2 billion in daily trading volume, mostly coming from alternative cryptocurrencies and tokens.
Essentially, Poloniex is targeting the same market as Binance, and given the dominance of Binance and other cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency exchanges such as OKEx and Bittrex, it is not realistic for Poloniex to overtake these platforms in the short-term.
But, with fiat pairings, Poloniex could appeal to a larger consumer base seeking for a cryptocurrency exchange that supports both fiat currencies and tokens that allow traders to both hedge the value of cryptocurrencies to fiat currencies and purchase tokens with fiat money.
The Circle team also noted that with the acquisition of Poloniex, it will delve into the development of a decentralized marketplace for assets, physical goods, and other commodities.
“We envision a robust multi-sided distributed marketplace that can host tokens which represent everything of value: physical goods, fundraising and equity, real estate, creative productions such as works of art, music and literature, service leases and time-based rentals, credit, futures, and more,”