Barclays Backs US Blockchain Company Circle as it launches in UK

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Barclays becomes the first major UK bank to enter into a partnership with a digital currency firm social payments app called Circle, that uses Bitcoin technology to move money between different currencies, according to Reuters.

Unlike a traditional money transfer company, however, Circle offers its users the opportunity to send not just written messages along with their money transfers, but also emojis and even animated “GIF” videos, with no charge, following in the footsteps of China’s WeChat Pay and AliPay.

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“The founding vision for Sean and I was that money should work the way the internet works,” said Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, who founded the company with fellow internet entrepreneur Sean Neville.

“This is the thing that I think we’re all learning from the Chinese: that this merging of messenging, media and payments together really makes sense to people.”

“The founding vision for Sean and I was that money should work the way the internet works,” said Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, who founded the company along with Sean Neville. “This is the thing that I think we’re all learning from the Chinese: that this merging of messaging, media and payments together really makes sense to people.”

The Circle app launched in the UK on Wednesday after being granted an e-money license by UK watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority. The decision marks another first for a digital currency company.

Circle is a Boston-based startup backed by $76 million in venture capital by a few well-known financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, Breyer Capital, Oak Investment Partners, Accel Partners and General Catalyst. The company is expected to expand to further expand its services to cover the rest of Europe, South America, and Asia. As the blockchain gains more acceptance among the banks, we can expect the number of companies offering blockchain based services to increase, connecting the whole world to one decentralized database

 

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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