Dublin-based Circle, a former Bitcoin start-up that has shifted its focus towards social payments, is to double its workforce in Ireland in an all-out move to become the default platform globally for sharing money digitally.
Circle enable users to easily make domestic and cross-border payments using blockchain, the technology that underpins Bitcoin. The company claims that sending funds via its platform is as easy as sharing a photo, text message or email.
It does not charge fees or foreign exchange markups on local or cross-border payments sent from Circle. However, it aims to make money from additional services, most of which have yet to be introduced.
"Social payment apps are still relatively new in Europe and are mainly led by start-ups. There are no leading players currently and so Circle is staking out its position as a great P2P payments platform," said founder and chief executive Jeremy Allaire.
The digital currency firm has secured $136 million (€121 million) in venture capital funding since it was founded just over three years ago with backers that include Goldman Sachs, Accel Partners and Pantera Capital.
Mr Allaire established Circle in 2013, He previously founded online video platform Brightcove, which he took public in 2012.
The company, which set up its international headquarters in Dublin in July 2014, handled over $1 billion in transactions last year.
The Boston-headquartered firm, which employs 20 people in Ireland, is now looking to double its workforce locally over the next two years as it seeks go gain market share globally.
“We’re hiring a talent pool across a wide range of functions including compliance, risk, support, operations, legal affairs,” said Mr Allaire.
“Dublin is really becoming a critical office for us. It is the fastest growing one we have and we’re obviously very committed to Ireland,” he added.
Circle is available in the US, UK, Spain and Ireland. It is launching in 15 other European markets, having recorded more than 1,000 per cent year-on-year growth in customers over the last 12 months, with payment volume growth rising by more than 500 per cent.
“When we set out to build the company several years ago our vision was that money should work the way the rest of the internet works. We can send and receive emails, photos and messages instantly and for free and we believed that this should be possible to do with money as well as it was becoming data,” said Mr Allaire.
“We are finally able to deliver on that now with customers able to make person-to-person payments domestically and globally using different currencies without any foreign exchange markup or fees. In doing this, we are essentially making the movement of value the same as moving content and data on the internet,” he added.
The company, which has expanded its crypto asset trading activity in recent months as it seeks to boost revenues, directly traded more than $800 million in assets in May alone.
Circle was the first virtual currency company to receive an e-money licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in Britain in March 2016, having only launched in the US a few months earlier. It recently announced the launch of Spark an open source project built on Ethereum that aims to promote payment technology related to the blockchain.