Circle's broken arm survives: layoffs, sell OTC department, specialize in stablecoin business

On December 18, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced that it had acquired Circle Trade, the OTC unit of Circle.

Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire confirmed the news, saying:

"We and Jesse of Kraken have known each other for many years. We admire him and his team. We also have full confidence and expectations. Circle Trade customers and partners will continue to find first-rate off-site liquidity services and responsiveness through Kraken. "Circle Trade represents the great success of the industry and Circle, and it's great to see Kraken develop it further."

Jeremy Allaire (Photo: Circle co-founder Jeremy Allaire)

Lay off, sell department, Circle will specialize in stablecoin business

According to Neville and Alaire, Circle's sale of OTC business is part of its 2020 product roadmap, and the company states that it needs to be more effective by reducing complexity, tightening product portfolios, and reorganizing teams To focus on its stablecoin platform.

In early December, just before today's announcement, Circle also laid off 10 employees. A Circle representative told the media at the time that the company had streamlined some departments and laid off about 10 employees. The spokesperson also confirmed that Circle wanted to focus on its stablecoin business, USD Coin (USDC).

In addition, Circle co-founder and co-CEO Sean Neville will resign as CEO in January 2020 and will be transferred to the company's board of directors.

Neville launched Circle in partnership with Alar in 2013, and during his tenure, he and Alar guided many changes, including avoiding the Bitcoin business and acquiring cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex in 2018 (Note: Circle has lost money this year Sold Poloniex).