We have seen a number of former cryptocurrency startups turn their back on bitcoin before, but this news specifically is going to shock many diehards. Peer-to-peer payments provider Circle has informed its clients thaht it has decided to move away from buying and selling of bitcoin as it is “diving headfirst into next-gen blockchain technology.”
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Circle was one of the most recognized brand names within the bitcoin community. It was one of the industry’s largest bitcoin wallet services providers, and last year became the first to be granted a BitLicense to operate in the state of New York.
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In June it revealed that it has raised $60 million of new capital from a group of strategic Chinese investors and launched Circle China, a Beijing-based venture, focused on making it a major player in the Chinese blockchain payments market.
Circle isn’t immediately cutting off support for its bitcoin wallet service but it has sent out a list of options that make it clear that it expects users to transfer their cryptocurrency funds elsewhere or exchange it for fiat. It now tells its old clients: “You’re welcome to hold bitcoin in your Circle account and it’ll be fully insured” but “you can no longer buy and sell bitcoin through us.”