Headquarters: Boston, MA
Circle is a global financial technology firm that enables businesses of all sizes to harness the power of digital currencies and public blockchains for payments, commerce, and financial applications worldwide. Circle is the issuer of USDC and Euro Coin - highly liquid, interoperable, and trusted money protocols on the internet. Circle's open and programmable platform and APIs make it easy for organizations to run their internet-scale business, whether it is making international payments, building globally-accessible Web3 apps, or managing their internal treasury.
Until a few years ago, there was not an internet-native form of money that could be transacted near-instantly, globally, and in seamless integration with digital commerce. The widespread recognition that the costs of cross-border payments and remittances are far too high, and the speed of these transactions is far too low.
Circle is transforming the way money moves by making it more accessible, inclusive, and efficient — increasing economic opportunity and prosperity around the globe.
Circle offers reimagined payment processing with a focus on digital currency innovation and open financial infrastructure.
Circle provides strong financial infrastructure with traditional payment rail integrations and global reach. Circle’s offering includes production-ready tools for on-chain payments and dynamic balance management.
Circle is the principal operator of USDC, a digital dollar, also known as a stablecoin, that’s available 24/7 and moves at internet speed. USDC lives natively on the internet, running on many of the world’s most advanced blockchains. Billions of USDC change hands every day, and every digital dollar of USDC can always be exchanged 1:1 for cash.
USDC is a faster, safer, and more efficient way to send, spend, and exchange money around the globe. USDC powers apps to provide access to payments and financial services at any time.
USDC makes the concept of settlement times obsolete with payments that can circle the globe and land in accounts as fast as email.
USDC reserves are held in custody by BNY Mellon, and active liquidity and asset management is managed by BlackRock.
USDC lives natively on 8 blockchains: Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, TRON, Algorand, Stellar, Flow, and Hedera – with more native integrations expected this year and beyond.
USDC has also been bridged to Polygon, Fantom, NEAR, Arbitrum, the Cosmos ecosystem, and many more emerging blockchains.
Developers trust USDC as a core building block for their apps to deliver real-time payments, trading, and financial services to their users. USDC is a programmable digital dollar that’s open-source, composable, and accessible for anyone to build with.
Circle is also the primary issuer of Euro Coin, or EUROC, a euro-backed stablecoin that’s accessible globally on Ethereum and Avalanche. Similar to USDC, Euro Coin is issued by Circle under a full-reserve model.
Designed for stability, Euro Coin is 100% backed by euros held in euro-denominated banking accounts so that it’s always redeemable 1:1 for euros.
Together, Euro Coin and USDC unlock new possibilities for multi-currency digital finance and near-instant foreign exchange, where daily volume in traditional markets can top $6.6 trillion globally.
Circle’s API Services comprise a powerful suite of infrastructure for diverse digital currency payments and treasury use cases. Circle’s APIs enable customers to build custom payments, commerce, and financial apps on top of the Circle Platform infrastructure.
The Circle Account serves as a front door for a suite of APIs that make internet commerce on the blockchain easier than ever. The Circle Account eliminates complexity with a single portal for payments, treasury, and custody. Customers can use Circle’s APIs for Accounts, Payments, and Payouts to build better user experiences on their products.
The Circle Account is a full-stack solution that replaces a fractured system for business banking. The Circle Account allows users to securely custody funds, send and receive payments globally and streamline treasury operations all connected through USD Coin (USDC) and integrated with a suite of APIs.
With Accounts, companies can create and manage scalable infrastructure to support a variety of funds flows for their business. Companies can store multiple types of digital assets and manage digital ledgers for their users.
Circle has re-imagined processing payments to accept global payments across traditional and blockchain rails in one powerful integration. Customers can open new markets and drive down costs with payments infrastructure powered by USDC.
Circle payments allow international customers to pay with their preferred payment method from traditional rails like cards and bank transfers, to blockchain rails that span the internet in one unified API. All transactions settle in USDC directly into a Circle Account — where users can convert to a connected bank account or leverage the power of on-chain digital dollars.
With Circle Payouts, companies can send faster, lower-cost payouts to all their customers, vendors, and suppliers around the world. Circle provides the infrastructure to automate payout workflows, whether to fund payouts using payments accepted with Circle or directly from funding a Circle Account.
With Circle Web3 Services, customers can rapidly deploy smart contracts, custody users’ digital assets, and programmatically manage fund flows across chains on Circle’s fully hosted nodes – cost-effectively and with industry-leading security. Circle’s composable APIs and turnkey SDKs can help build applications at scale.
Circle generates revenue through multiple streams. Since one USDC is backed by one U.S. dollar unlike many other stablecoins, Circle is able to earn interest on the deposit reserves, similar to a bank. Circle invests the majority of its assets in U.S. Treasury bills with maturities of no more than 90 days.
Circle also generates revenue through a suite of tools and APIs that companies can use to build USDC functionality into their financial systems, with Circle earning transaction and usage fees. Select examples include: (1) If a customer wants to pay vendors in crypto, they can use Circle’s tools to “switch” back and forth between traditional and digital dollars, (2) If a customer wants to invest part of its corporate treasury in crypto, they can use Circle’s tools as an “on-ramp” and “off-ramp” between traditional and digital investments, (3) If a customer wants to offer DeFi products to their customers, they can use Circle’s tools — powered by USDC — to create white-label versions.
According to TechCrunch, in mid-2021, Circle projected that its revenue for 2021 would come to $115 million, a figure that would rise to $407 million in 2022. Those estimates were predicated on the amount of USDC in circulation rising from $35 billion at the end of 2021 to $83 billion at the end of 2022 and $194 billion at the end of 2023.
Per filings with the SEC, Circle generated $84.9 million in revenue in 2021, a bit under its target figure. At the same time, Circle’s USDC stablecoin closed the year with around $42 billion worth of its token in circulation, per CoinMarketCap, ahead of projections.
As of June 30, 2022, Circle generated $126.5 million in revenue ($253 million run rate) and incurred an operating loss of $131.4 million ($262.8 million run rate). Its USDC market cap was near $56 billion at this time, according to CoinMarketCap data.
According to Forbes, Circle used the cancellation of its SPAC merger in December 2022 as an opportunity to announce that it had turned in a $43 million profit in Q3 2022, the first profitable period in its history.
According to The Information, interest income boosted Circle's revenue in the first three quarters of 2022 to more than $400 million, more than four times what that figure was for the entire 2021 calendar year, according to securities filings.
Circle reached a definitive agreement to acquire Concord Acquisition Group through a (SPAC) reverse merger on July 8, 2021, which would have represented a $9.0 billion valuation for Circle following the completion of the merger. As part of the transaction, Circle was in talks to receive $415 million of development capital from Marshall Wace, Fidelity Management & Research, and Adage Capital Management through a private placement as of July 8, 2021. Consequently, the deal was canceled on December 5, 2022, after Concord’s inability to “consummate a business combination” by a December 10 deadline written into the special-purpose acquisition company’s rules. At the time, Circle hinted that the sluggishness was due to delays at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to Forbes.
In March 2023, following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. prudential regulators announced that all depositors (including Circle) with Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, will be made whole. Circle’s $3.3 billion USDC reserve deposit held at Silicon Valley Bank, about 8% of the USDC total reserve, was made available again, and Circle held no USDC cash reserves at Signature Bank. On March 11, 2023, Circle shared details about the USDC reserve, stating it is currently collateralized 77% ($32.4B) with short-dated U.S. Treasury Bills. U.S. Treasury Bills are the most liquid assets in the world and are direct obligations of the U.S. government. These reserves are held in custody by BNY Mellon and active liquidity and asset management is done by BlackRock. The cash portion of the USDC reserve, 23% ($9.7B), is now held primarily at BNY Mellon.
In April 2023, Circle announced it has filed applications in France to become both a licensed Electronic Money Institution and a registered Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) under the rigorous requirements set out by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) and Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). Circle's intent to pursue full approval from the AMF could make it the first company to receive full authorization under the DASP regulatory regime. This move signifies Circle’s commitment to expanding its operations in Europe, where France would become a key hub for regional activity. Registration with the AMF will enable Circle to offer a suite of products and services to customers in France in full compliance with local regulations.
In April 2023, Circle announced the mainnet availability of Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP) for developers building on Ethereum and Avalanche. The permissionless protocol enables USDC to flow natively across supported chains, delivering an unparalleled level of interoperability, security, liquidity, and simplified user experiences.
In May 2023, Circle announced the launch of Euro Coin on Avalanche, the first in a series of expected multi-chain launches for the fully reserved euro-backed stablecoin to help deliver faster, more efficient payments and financial services for developers and their users.
In August 2023, Coinbase announced it would acquire an equity stake in cryptocurrency operator Circle. “As part of this next chapter, Coinbase and Circle have reached a new agreement. Reflecting Coinbase’s belief in the fundamental importance of stablecoins to the broader crypto economy, Coinbase is taking an equity stake in Circle. This means that Coinbase and Circle will now have even greater strategic and economic alignment on the future of the financial system. Coinbase is committed to the long term success of the stablecoin ecosystem and USDC, specifically," Coinbase said in a blogpost. USDC will also be launching on 6 new blockchains between September and October, bringing multi-chain access of USDC up to 15 blockchains to continue accelerating USDC’s momentum with developers around the world.