The OTC division of San Francisco’s Kraken cryptocurrency exchange has announced it is acquiring prominent crypto start up Circle’s “Circle Trade” OTC division.
“Today, we’re excited to announce that Kraken is acquiring one of the most recognized OTC desks in crypto, Circle Trade,” Kraken states in a blog post. “Our…global OTC desk, run by Wall Street veteran Nelson Minier, will now expand to more than 20 global professionals, deepening our ability to provide the personal, white-glove service that you expect from Kraken.”
Kraken claims the acquisition, “will…significantly bolster our services and capabilities by providing…trading partners around the world, particularly in Asia…Deeper liquidity and tighter spreads across all supported assets…(and) Improved automation and advanced tools…to streamline the trade process from quote to settlement.”
This is the second major Circle asset to be “spun out” in recent months.
In October, Circle sold its retail cryptocurrency platform to an unnamed “Asian investment group” that turned out to be, “a syndicate led by…Justin Sun…”
Following the sale, Poloniex customers in the US were asked to cease trading.
Circle has been a major advocate of the idealized crypto world view often espoused in the subculture.
On the company website’s “About” page, Circle says it is, “Building a new global economy, block by block…(and) was founded in 2013 on the belief that open crypto technologies would replace the world’s closed, proprietary financial systems allowing everyone, everywhere to participate in an economy that’s more fair, more inclusive and more accessible.”
Circle acquired Poloniex and SeedInvest in 2017. But the prolonged the crypto bear market of 2018 and 2019 was not kind to the company (and to many others).
In May, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said the, “increasingly restrictive regulatory climate in the United States,” had induced the company’s decision to fire thirty employees. Subsequent indications, however, suggest that revenues were also down.
In June, Circle “retired” its crypto payments app, Circle Pay, to focus on developing its cryptocurrency stable coin project USD Coin (USDC).
In August, citing low trading volumes, Poloniex delisted 23 trading pairs: LTC/XMR, DASH/XMR, ZEC/XMR, MAID/XMR, NXT/XMR, BCN/XMR, LSK/ETH, GNT/ETH, MANA/ETH, QTUM/ETH, STEEM/ETH, OMG/ETH, LOOM/ETH, SNT/ETH, CVC/ETH, KNC/ETH, GAS/ETH, BNT/ETH, LOOM/USDT, SNT/USDT, KNC/USDT, BNT/USDT, FOAM/USDC.
Most of the coins in the pairs are not particularly liquid on their own.