Circle buys Poloniex to form 'global token market'
The digital payment company Circle has agreed to acquire Poloniex, a token exchange platform, in a deal that would allow a deeper move into cryptocurrency investment.
Circle did not disclose the size of the deal, which Fortune reports is about $400 million. "Created by a team of crypto visionaries, Poloniex has grown to become one of the world's leading token marketplaces," Circle said in its announcement, noting Poloniex is available in more than 100 countries and would help Circle power a "global" token market.
The Boston-based Circle has offered several services over the past few years and has shifted its strategy. Originally focused on bitcoin trading, it de-emphasized that part of its business in 2016 to focus on social payments in a competitive play against Venmo.
It later moved into cross-border payments and blockchain. For the past year it has expanded its Circle Pay app and renewed its focus on cryptocurrencies through Circle Trade, which provides crypto asset liquidity, and its pending Circle Invest app, which powers mobile investment in cryptocurrencies.
By adding Poloniex, Circle is acquiring one of the largest ethereum exchanges in the world with more than $1 billion in daily volume, and a hosting service for new tokens. Circle hopes Poloniex's technology will also help Circle's efforts to build a protocol that makes it easier for mobile wallets to communicate, thus powering interoperability for mobile contactless and in-app payments.