Will Bitcoin Go Mainstream?
Can Circle Make Bitcoin Go Mainstream.
Circle is one of the most highly talked about companies in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Started last October by Jeremy Allaire, the former CTO of Macromedia (responsible for creating the Adobe flash platform), the company raised over $50 million in funding over series A and B rounds. This made them one of the most well financed companies in the space, well before a product was even announced.
Allaire readily admits that they were operating in “stealth”. That ended on Saturday, when Circle officially announced what they had been working on over the last six months.
The Bitcoin community was both impressed and excited. It looked like Bitcoin was inching ever closer to its ‘mainstream moment’. The platform that Circle announced is in a limited and closed beta. It will only be available to American users, for a while. This is because of regulatory issues.
Nevetheless, the Circle platform is an interesting approach. Clearly focuses on mainstream adoption and ease-of-use, the platform aims to sit Bitcoin in the background. The company aims to start using Bitcoin as the protocol in the back, similar to how your email interface hides SMTP for seamless use.
The company is clearly playing a long game. Focusing on usability and bridging the gap between early adopters and mainstream users is their core objective.
The platform is zero-fee, which is about as competitive as you can get. Obviously, with this approach Circle will be positioned to challenge the likes of Paypal, with their often exorbitant fees.
Circle announced for the first time at Bitcoin 2014 in Amsterdam, a conference held by the Bitcoin Foundation. There had been a lot of anticipation as to what Circle would unveil and they did not fail to disappoint. They were clearly the company most advanced towards achieving something resembling mainstream adoption.
To make all of its services possible Circle has invested in hardware of military grade, multi-signature architecture for security and cold storage. In fact, the company is so sure of its security that it offers free insurance from theft to all its clients.