The largest bitcoin (BTC) mining firm based in China, Bitmain Technologies Ltd, has led a series E funding round for Circle Internet Financial and managed to raise approximately $110 million. This raises the value of Circle Internet Financial to approximately $3 billion propelling it into the top echelons of virtual currency firms in terms of funds raised. In 2016 Circle was reportedly valued at approximately $480 million. Besides providing over-the-counter digital currency services, Circle also employs blockchain technology in offering peer-to-peer payment services.
In the series E round other firms which participated included IDG Capital Partners, an outfit which has invested in both Circle Internet Financial and Bitmain Technologies Ltd. Other backers of Circle include Tusk Venture, Blockchain Capital, China International Capital Corp and Baidu. In a series D round which took place in 2016 $60 million was raised in an effort that IDG Capital led. IDG Capital also led in a series C round which raised approximately $50 million in 2015.
Stablecoin to be launched
The series E round comes at a time when Circle has announced that it is launching a stablecoin to be known as USD Coin (USDC) which aims to overcome the wild volatility associated with digital currencies and which has hampered their adoption as mainstream modes of payment. According to the co-founder of Circle, Jeremy Allaire, the value of the stable coin will be based on the value of the U.S. dollar and this will be backed by traditional currency reserves. To ensure that the price remains stable customers of the firm will have to hold $1 for every USDC.
?You can?t transmit dollars over the internet, or use them in smart contracts. The ability to send a digital currency to anyone with a digital wallet is revolutionary, opening up the world to totally new forms of commerce,? Allaire said.
Bitcoin wallet for Chinese users of Huawei devices
This comes in the wake of Bitmain-owned BTC.com announcing a new bitcoin wallet for users of smartphones developed by China?s Huawei Technologies. The move is expected to allow users of Huawei devices to download bitcoin wallets since the Google Play Store is blocked in the country. The bitcoin wallets will come pre-installed on new devices while older ones will get in this year?s second quarter.
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