Crypto Startup Circle Cuts 30 Employees Citing Market, Regulatory Conditions

Circle is laying off roughly 30 people, CoinDesk has learned.

May 21, 2019 at 6:55 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:13 a.m. UTC

Crypto startup Circle has laid off roughly 30 people, or about 10 percent of its staff, CoinDesk has learned.

The company – which owns trading platform Poloniex, equity crowdfunding site SeedInvest and the USDC stablecoin in partnership with Coinbase – is looking to cut costs, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire told CoinDesk via a spokesperson.

“We made these changes in response to new market conditions, most importantly, an increasingly restrictive regulatory climate in the United States," Allaire said. "Circle remains strong and healthy, and we will continue to drive new product innovation and growth globally, working with jurisdictions that offer forward-looking policies regulating digital asset businesses, while we press for more balanced crypto policy in the U.S."

On Monday, Allaire wrote a blog post detailing how regulatory uncertainty forced Circle to geofence some assets on Poloniex from U.S. customers.

The cuts appear to primarily affect the company's Boston headquarters, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told CoinDesk. At the company's New York office, cuts were reportedly spread across the finance and product departments, the source said. Some unfilled positions were cut as well.

Last month, Circle's SeedInvest received a securities trading license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Earlier in April, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire made the case for cryptocurrency in a debate with the International Monetary Fund's Christine Lagarde.

Ian Allison and Brady Dale contributed reporting.

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire speaks at Bitcoin2014, photo via CoinDesk archives

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