Circle’s Crypto Trading Platform Attracts more Institutional Investors Despite Bitcoin Fall

Circle, which provides one of the largest trading desks for institutional investors, said that it saw its demand increase despite the declining price of Bitcoin.

Goldman-backed Circle, a blockchain payments and crypto trading system provider, saw a 30% increase in institutional investors on its platform last month, even though Bitcoin lost a fifth of its value during the same period. Circle Trade, as the company’s platform is called, allows investors to trade cryptocurrency with bigger block orders. The trading volume on the platform increased by 15 times compared to the same period last year. To stay ahead of the competition, Circle offers more automation which allows high-frequency trading.

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire told CNBC on Monday:

“Major institutional investors don't go through telephone broker, they go through an electronic interface. We're maturing this into a more traditional product.”

The increase in hedge funds, family offices, venture capital firms, and other institutional investors came when Bitcoin fell from about $9,000 at the beginning of May, to about $7,500 at the end of the month.

Allaire said:

“In May, which was a challenging month, we saw a sharp increase of unique new counter-parties. A lot of folks on the institutional side are on-boarding, and getting their ducks in the row.”

Until this week, Circle had done price quoting manually through its employees at offices in the US, Hong Kong, and London, who were communicating via channels like Skype to authorize trades. Now the company is automating these processes to handle trades that can reach as high as $ 1 million. The platform will also include Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to automate orders and settlements.

“Major institutional investors don't go through telephone broker, they go through an electronic interface. We're maturing this into a more traditional product; it's much faster and a more flexible way to trade,” the CEO added.

Over $2 billion is traded on Circle’s platform each month, with a minimum order size of $250,000. Thus, the firm offers one of the largest crypto trading desks.

Last month, Circle raised $110 million in an investment round led by Bitmain. Other participants included DG Capital, Pantera, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, Accel, and Digital Currency Group.