US-Based Circle Is Setting Its Sights on Asia
US cryptocurrency trading platform Circle, backed by IDG Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs and internet giant Baidu, is expanding to Asia, launching over-the-counter digital currency trading services to institutional investors such as hedge funds and fund managers.
Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s founder and CEO, said that the company is also looking to increase its staff in Hong Kong and develop its Asian market-making, compliance, sales, and customer service functions in the city.
He also plans to introduce cryptocurrency trading for individual investors and a peer-to-peer money transfer service backed by the bitcoin blockchain network, though when that’ll happen is a little unclear.
Allaire said that he wants “hundreds of thousands” of major clients in Asia, adding that he envisions “crypto tokens for everything,” and a “a market place where people from all over the world [can trade tokenised] financial assets.”
If you’re thinking that now’s not a great time to launch a digital currency trading platform in Asia, you’re not alone. As the SMCP points out, crypto scrutiny in the region has increased lately given the recent crackdowns, hackings, and thefts. Allaire however dismisses this, saying that most trading platforms and exchanges had “weak” controls and barely vetted new tokens.
“[People refer to them as] ‘Coins’R’Us’, platforms that list anything that comes out. That might not only be violating securities laws … but also doing a disservice to investors by launching really weak projects. That is not a reputation we want to have,” he said.
Photo: Nik Cyclist