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With a smiley, Circle makes it easier to pay friends in other countries

Agam Shah | June 23, 2016
Circle is expanding its social payment service to support the euro and, eventually, Chinese renminbi.

There have been questions lately about the stability of electronic ledgers, but Allaire said the bitcoin blockchain is the largest, "most scaled and secure, and most liquid public blockchain," with hundreds of companies and banking systems connecting to it, enabling "frictionless global value exchange by using open protocols and open networks."

Circle operates its own treasury and trading operations in all of the currencies it serves. The company is constantly trading in these currencies to ensure that customers have instant convertibility.

Breaking into new countries is a big deal for Circle, which wants to make it easy to make money exchanges borderless.

"Over time, we do not believe that there will be a business model to charge fees for converting currencies, and most certainly for payments themselves, both of which are becoming free utilities on the Internet," Allaire said.

Traditional banks usually charge a 3 to 4 percent fee for money transfers, while digital-money transfer companies such as TransferWise and Xoom charge closer to 1 percent.

So how will Circle make money? Over time, the plan is to introduce other consumer products that generate revenue, Allaire said. For now, he's staying mum on what those might be.

 

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