Circle Sells Retail Trading App to Crypto Broker Voyager

Voyager CEO Stephen Ehrlich said in a statement the acquisition “signifies a tremendous development for Voyager as we welcome a substantial number of new users to our platform.”

Voyager has acquired the retail-focused Circle Invest app from Circle, the companies announced Wednesday.

According to an email sent to Circle Invest users, Voyager is in the process of converting accounts to its own platform, with the process expected to conclude by the end of March (though New York residents may be on a different timeline). Voyager is promising commission-free trading, on-chain access and lock-up free interest yield, the email said.

“We have entered into a product-line acquisition of Circle Invest with Voyager to convert your Circle Invest account into a Voyager account, making exciting new features and digital assets available to you,” according to an email from Circle.

Roughly 40,000 retail Circle Invest accounts will be converted to Voyager, according to a press release, bringing Voyager’s total userbase to 200,000.

Voyager also acquired a U.S. Financial Institute Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker-dealer and listed a series of stablecoins as part of its expansion.

“This year, Circle will have a deep focus on stablecoins globally, dollars on public blockchains (USDC) specifically, and the powerful possibilities they unlock for people, businesses and governments all around the world,” Circle’s email said.

The company said it hopes to build global payment and wallet APIs for stablecoins first, targeting businesses and developers. Voyager will integrate these APIs, according to the email.

“Because of this, we have been searching to find a great home for Circle Invest customers to continue on their crypto investing experiences with a specific partner, and are thrilled to have found a fantastic home for you at Voyager,” the email said.

Circle announced its pivot to a focus on stablecoins last year, following the departure of co-founder/co-CEO Sean Neville in December. Circle has also sold Poloniex, its crypto exchange, and shut down its Circle Pay app in recent months.

Circle to Spin Out Poloniex Less Than 2 Years After $400 Million Takeover

Crypto exchange Poloniex is spinning out from its parent firm Circle, the companies announced Friday.

According to a pair of blog posts, Poloniex will now become Polo Digital Assets, Ltd., an “independent international company” backed by an unnamed Asian investment firm. The trading platform will not serve U.S. customers after this year.

U.S. residents have until Dec. 15, 2019 to withdraw their assets, with all trades being suspended on Nov. 1, 2019, the blog post said.

Poloniex said the company has “a multiyear plan to spend more than $100 million to develop and expand” its platform. As part of its offers, it will reduce trading fees to 0 percent between Oct. 21 and Dec. 31, 2019.

Circle co-founders Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville wrote in their own announcement that the company plans to “double down” on its “efforts to build a more open, global and accessible financial system”, by growing its stablecoin market and building up SeedInvest, the crowddfunding platform it previously acquired.

Circle first acquired Poloniex in February 2018 for $400 million. At the time, Allaire and Neville wrote that they imagined building Poloniex into a marketplace for “tokens which represent everything of value”, including physical goods, real estate and even creative productions.

In Friday’s blog post, the two wrote:

“It is bittersweet for Circle to see this incredible product and business spin out on its own … We’ve made enormous progress with Poloniex, including massive infrastructure improvements, adding more fiat options with USDC integration, launching best in class native apps for traders, and building global operations capabilities that can deliver excellent customer service.”

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