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Circle announced Thursday it would be discontinuing its mobile app, Circle Pay.
In a blog post, the company announced a multi-phase wind-down wrapping up on September 30, when remaining funds will be turned over to states or countries, in accordance with local laws. Starting on July 8, only withdrawals will be allowed on the app.
The company says the five-year-old product saw demand, but that stablecoins have proven to be a better focus.
Circle spokesman Josh Hawkins told CoinDesk via email:
“Circle Pay is a popular social payment app that has seen significant organic growth over the years across the U.S. and Europe. But now that we have USD Coin and an open, interoperable stablecoin standard through CENTRE, it makes sense to sunset our first-generation effort and transition full focus to wallet services that take a bigger step toward reaching our original vision for a free, open and transparent global payments network.”
The news came on the same day that CENTRE, the consortium created by Circle and Coinbase to advance USDC, began opening itself to new members.
Circle was founded in 2013 with the idea of making payments with cryptocurrency as easy as using apps like Venmo. In 2015, it became the first company to earn New York’s controversial BitLicense.
The company released a bitcoin wallet in 2014 that would eventually lay the foundation for what became Circle Pay.
When the app first integrated fiat payments, CEO Jeremy Allaire told Wired in 2015: “If I say I believe in the bitcoin movement and I want to hold bitcoin instead of dollars, but a friend doesn’t necessarily care about bitcoin … Circle will convert any money that friend sends me to bitcoin.”
In 2017, Circle made withdrawals to debit cards from the Pay app free.
The company has announced cost-cutting measures in recent months, including 30 layoffs in May.
Jeremy Allaire photo via CoinDesk archives