Circle Becomes 'Bitcoin Unicorn' with Bitmain-Backed Mega-Round

The ‘bitcoin unicorn’ club now has another member.

Announced Tuesday, Circle has closed a $110 million Series E fundraising, a figure that effectively values the startup at nearly $3 billion, according to figures from the company. Led by China-based mining outfit Bitmain, the round includes support from Accel, Blockchain Capital, Breyer, Digital Currency Group, General Catalyst, IDG, Pantera and Tusk Ventures.

With the funding, the company is also revealing an ambitious plan to bolster its products and services by launching a “US dollar coin,” or a blockchain native asset that would be both regulated and backed by real government currency, through its affiliate CENTRE project.

In this way, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire framed the round as one that helps it position itself as a true conglomerate of cryptocurrency services, as opposed to just an exchange or payment startup, both characterizations having been given to the company in the past.

With the funding, the company is also revealing an ambitious plan to bolster its products and services by launching a “US dollar coin,” or a blockchain native asset that would be both regulated and backed by real government currency, through its affiliate CENTRE project.