Social payments firm Circle in profit as turnover surges

Circle, the Dublin-headquartered social payments company which recently raised $114 million (€96.7 million) in funding, rebounded from a $18.2 million loss last year as turnover jumped from just $4 million to $84.5 million.

The news comes as Circle on Wednesday announced USD Coin, a stablecoin that is pegged to the US dollar.

The fintech, whose backers include Goldman Sachs, recorded a €21 million pretax profit for the 12 months ending December 2017, recently-filed accounts show.

The company attributed the rise in turnover to increased treasury and card processing revenues, as it announced plans to enter additional markets and create new platforms and features.


The latest accounts show Circle recorded a $64.8 million rise in deposits from customers last year.

“Circle’s products continue to generate significant interest around the globe, fuelling our ability to provide people with the most secure, transparent and efficient way to make payments with and trade and invest in a range of crypto assets,” a spokeswoman for the company said.

Circle is a former bitcoin start-up that has pivoted towards social payments. Its Circle Pay platform, one of a number of products the firm has, enables users to make domestic and cross-border payments easily using blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies.

The group’s accumulated losses fell from $29.2 million to $8 million as it reported total assets of $217.3 million and $221.4 million in liabilities.

Circle, which last year announced plans to double its Irish workforce to about 40 people as part of a major expansion plan, purchased Poloniex, a Boston-based cryptocurrency exchange in a deal valued at $445 million in February.

Poloniex has grown to become one of the world’s leading token marketplaces. Available in more than 100 countries, it was one of the first exchanges in the world to offer liquidity in ethereum, and to reach $1 billion in daily volume.

The latest accounts for Circle show total headcount rose from 101 to 130 last year with staff costs increasing from $14 million to $27.3 million.

The balance of bitcoins owned by the group at the end of 2017 totalled $45.3 million with the balance of bitcoins reserved for customers totalling $46.1 million.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist