Starting in July, Boston-based multi-platform cryptocurrency services and investment firm Circle will begin retiring its payment app, Circle Pay, in order to focus on developing its cryptocurrency stable coin project USD Coin (USDC), the company has announced.
For affected users, the relevant dates, according to the Circle blog post, are:
- July 8: “Customers will no longer be able to add money or send money to anyone through their Circle Pay account. They will only be able to cash out funds to their linked card or bank account. We will also limit new sign ups by July 8th.”
- July 31: “Any remaining funds will be attempted to be returned to customers’ linked bank accounts or cards beginning on July 31st.”
- September 30: “We will fully deprecate all support for Circle Pay.”
Post September 30: “We will begin the escheatment process and turn over funds to the state or country where a customer resides, in accordance with applicable law.”
Though Circle calls its 5-year go at a payment app “successful,” the company appears to see much more potential for stable coins, which allow people to, “…seamlessly transfer fiat value over blockchains without the risk of cryptocurrency volatility, making peer-to-peer payments instant, global, secure, and free, significantly advancing our original vision…”
The company alludes to friction encountered at Circle Pay because that system, “…largely relied on interfacing with the traditional financial system and untokenized fiat currencies.”
Crypto startups have accused banks of being anti-competitive for refusing to provide them with stable banking services.
Banks have countered that many crypto firms are unable or unwilling to verify the origins of the funds they handle.
Handling these funds or proceeds as a third party, banks say, opens them up to risk and possible violation of strong anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist finance laws.