Fintech firm Circle has announced that it’s shutting down its payment app, Circle Pay. The Boston-based firm said that while Circle Pay pioneered the social payments movement, the company had shifted its focus to other areas.
Circle Pay has been around for the past five years. The mobile app sought to make crypto payments as easy as “sending a message over the phone,” Circle’s founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire stated at the time of launch. Circle Pay was determined to compete with the likes of Venmo and Square’s Cash App which have been the outright leaders in the U.S. payments market for the past few years. However, everything hasn’t gone to plan. Circle Pay has failed to gain the traction that its founders hoped it would, failing to rank in the top 100 finance apps on the apps store. Cash App and Venmo are first and second, respectively.
Circle advised all Circle Pay customers to cash out the funds in their accounts immediately. Those who hold BTC on their Circle Pay accounts were also advised to send their tokens to other wallets, with Circle recommending Poloniex, an exchange it acquired early last year.
The shutdown will take place in three phases. On July 8, customers will no longer be able to transact using Circle Pay, but they will still be able to cash out their funds. On July 31, the company will attempt to return the customers’ funds to their registered bank accounts or cards. On September 30, Circle will cease all support for its payment app and all remaining funds will be turned over to state governments in accordance with applicable law.
Regarding customers who held SegWitCoin BTC prior to the 2017 hard fork, the company stated, “As previously announced, Circle will support and distribute Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV holdings to eligible customers who held a Bitcoin balance with Circle Pay prior to the date of the Bitcoin Cash fork, August 1st, 2017. Eligible customers in good standing will be able to withdraw both their Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV by the end of September.”
Circle, which is backed by Goldman Sachs and IDG Capital, pledged to continue the development of its other products and services. They include the USD Coin, the company’s stablecoin which has received the backing of U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase. The two companies have partnered as founders of Centre, a consortium that fosters the adoption and development of the stablecoin.
The shutdown of Circle Pay comes barely a month after the company announced that it was downsizing in response to market conditions. The company laid off 30 employees in its Boston headquarters and its New York office, blaming it on the lack of regulation which was hurting innovation in the crypto industry.
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