In an effort to create a competitive internationally-focused cryptocurrency exchange, the Poloniex team and leadership are spinning out from Circle into a new independent international company, Polo Digital Assets, Ltd. Backed by an Asian investment group, the spin-out will bring significant resources and freedom to deliver the product features and marketing strategies needed to be competitive.
Meanwhile, Circle will double down on our efforts to build a more open, global and accessible financial system. This includes significantly expanding the services we offer that are built around USDC, the market’s fastest-growing fiat stablecoin, and expanding and growing SeedInvest, the largest equity crowdfunding platform in the United States.
It is bittersweet for Circle to see this incredible product and business spin out on its own. Nearly 18 months ago, Circle acquired Poloniex with a vision of building a broad digital asset marketplace that included a rapidly growing range of tokens and digital assets. 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.
But we have also faced challenges as a US company growing a competitive international exchange. This spin-out will finally give Poloniex the freedom and capital to compete in the international market, and the leadership team of Poloniex will be equipped to scale and grow beyond the scope of what Circle can provide.
The new international operation plans to invest more than $100M into the development and expansion of the Poloniex exchange, and plans to employ more than 100 full-time employees with the majority coming from the existing Poloniex operations. Poloniex expects to be hiring aggressively across all major business and technical functions.
This transition will mean some significant changes for existing US customers of Poloniex. As detailed in a separate announcement from the Poloniex team, US customers will no longer be able to trade on the exchange starting on November 1, 2019. US customers will continue to be able to access and use their wallets and withdraw funds through wallet and custody services operated by Circle until at least December 15, 2019.
In addition to aggressive hiring and planning to spend $100M on the business during the next few years, Poloniex is also announcing today that effective October 21st, 2019, all spot trading fees will be reduced to 0% until the end of the year. Poloniex intends to continue beyond that with highly competitive and creative pricing models for traders.
As Poloniex moves on from Circle, we are excited to be able to focus on growing mainstream use cases for payments, investment, lending and fundraising built on the open rails of crypto and public chains.
Over the past six years, Circle has built one of the broadest technology platforms in the crypto industry -- general purpose infrastructure for safely connecting the legacy fiat system with crypto, scaling wallets and blockchain protocols for everyday payments, risk infrastructure to deal with fraud and compliance risk, and a custody solution that has helped secure billions of dollars in digital assets. Starting with APIs for USDC, we plan to open up more of our platform for developers everywhere who want to integrate crypto into their apps and services.
Earlier this year we completed the acquisition of SeedInvest, the largest equity crowdfunding platform in the United States, and have helped hundreds of companies raise hundreds of millions of dollars with internet-based securities offerings. Our plan with this business is to transform how companies raise capital, and open up investment opportunities to people everywhere. We have been working hard to introduce new services built on SeedInvest that allow for fundraising using tokens and digital assets, marrying traditional financial contracts and assets with crypto.
We envision a world with an open financial system:
- Money and value move around the world as easily as any other data on the internet
- People connect to each other through payments, investments, lending, and other economic contracts in a fast, inexpensive, inclusive, safe fashion not controlled by a single company or government but agreed upon by a multitude -- just like they do with information on the internet
- People and businesses raise capital and invest in projects and companies without obtuse, expensive, siloed gatekeeper intermediaries available only to a limited few
- Everyone with a mobile phone has access to the same powerful financial services previously exclusive only to the developed world
Realizing this vision requires an internet of finance, and our mission is to help create that open global internet financial system. Our vision and mission have not wavered since the day we founded Circle, but we must adapt and course-correct our strategy for achieving them.
Jeremy & Sean