A Goldman Sachs-backed tech company just bought a major crypto exchange for a reported $400 million

source
Ints Kalnins/Reuters

  • Fintech company Circle announced it bought cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex.
  • The company plans to scale the exchange and host a platform for all sorts of tokenized assets.

Boston-based financial-technology company Circle just dove deeper into the nascent digital-coin market by scooping up cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, the company announced Monday.

The acquisition, which is reportedly worth $400 million according to Fortune’s Robert Hackett, appears to be a natural move for the five-year-old company, which already facilitates cryptocurrency trades worth upwards of a couple hundred million dollars via its market-making arm Circle Trade.

The deal likely makes Circle a unicorn (if it wasn’t already). In July 2016 – before the bitcoin boom of 2017 – Circle was valued at $480 million. A unicorn is a private company worth more than a $1 billion. Notably, Circle counts investment bank Goldman Sachs as a a strategic backer.

Circle plans to build out Poloniex, a crypto exchange that sees $150 million worth of crypto change hands each day.

Circle’s cofounders – Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire – said in a blog post the firm plans to bring the exchange to new markets, add the number of coins on its platform, and enable fiat-to-crypto transactions.

Also in the works, is Circle Invest, a mobile application built specifically for new crypto investors.

Circle’s first priority, however, will be scaling the exchange. That includes tackling customers support requests and technical issues. Neville said the company will do this “while the train is running” and expects zero down time.

As for Circle’s long-term vision for Poloniex, the company expects to create a diverse marketplace, hosting tokens representing assets from art to real estate to futures. Already, the company hosts close to one hundred “alt-coins,” or alternative cryptos, in addition to more popular ones like bitcoin, ether, and litecoin.