Circle sells its OTC trading desk to crypto exchange Kraken

By Yana Berman

One of the first crypto players is gradually suspending its businesses


Boston-based Circle, which was one of the early players on the emerging crypto markets in 2013, sold its over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk to crypto exchange Kraken.

Circle confirmed the sale of Circle Trade in its recent press release in which the company revealed its strategy for the upcoming year.

Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire wrote: "We have known and admired Jesse and his team at Kraken for many years, and we have every confidence and expectation that Circle Trade customers and partners will continue to find best-in-class OTC liquidity service and responsiveness through Kraken going forward."

The founders claim that Circle trade represents "an enormous success" and hope that Kraken will grow the OTC desk further. According to the company, in 2018 Circle Trade reached a volume of $24bn (£18.3bn, €21.5bn).

The company reportedly started looking for a buyer of its OTC trade desk in the summer. It is worth noting that Nick Gustafson, the head of Circle Trade, was previously an employee of Kraken.

In 2020, Circle is going to focus on stablecoins and public blockchains, as its roadmap was "sharpened" and adjusted to the next phase of its development, according to the press release.

The sale of Circle Trade is not the first major restructuring move taken by Circle.

In 2018, the company acquired crypto exchange Poloniex for $400m. However, this year it has spun out into a stand-alone company.

Moreover, in 2019 Circle reportedly laid off dozens of employees and revealed plans to shut down its payment app Circle Pay, as well as to put on hold its research work in Circle Research.

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