After months of working with customers in an invite-only phase, today we at Circle opened our initial service to the world.
When we set out to build Circle, we imagined a new kind of Internet-centric consumer financial service, one that the average person would find enjoyable and powerful, built on the promises of Bitcoin – instant, global, secure, free transactions.
For our initial product launch, our aims were simple:
- Create an experience that is fast, beautiful, and enjoyable to use. Online banking applications stink. We wanted an elegant design aesthetic that would appeal to digital natives.
- Reduce the friction that so many people – even sophisticated, technology-savvy people – often experience in acquiring and spending Bitcoin. Starting today, people can onboard into a Circle account and begin using digital money within minutes, not days. And Circle eliminates the labyrinth of fees and complex user interfaces designed for traders.
- Make digital money the same as other major Internet services for consumers: instant and free. We wanted our service to be instant for onboarding, instant for depositing and converting money, and nearly instant for sending and receiving payments – anywhere on the planet.
In addition to the core features and goals above, Circle is now available in seven languages, which collectively cover approximately 40% of the world’s population. Circle’s site, product, and customer support content are all available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish (Latin American), German, and French – and we will add more languages as we grow. It’s a good start, but we plan to add far more capabilities for international customers over time.
Back in May, we were excited to announce that we were offering customers insurance from theft on 100 percent of their bitcoin account balances. Since May, we’ve continued to build out our insurance program, acquiring more underwriters for both our online and cold storage / offline assets. Today we offer this unprecedented insurance coverage to every Circle customer. Circle customers will have 100 percent coverage of their full deposit value. Our insurance broker is Marsh, one of the largest insurance brokers in the world. The underwriters for this insurance are all highly-rated. Insurance on Bitcoin is a new market, and we’re proud to be a market maker in establishing this valuable service to users of digital assets. And this 100 percent insurance covers deposits for any user in the world holding bitcoin with Circle.
Native Apps Imminent
In addition to the general availability of Circle, today at the Sibos international banking conference, we had an opportunity to sneak peek our new iOS and Android native apps. While these are still in beta and not part of today’s product release, they’re a critical piece of the puzzle and companions to Circle’s Web-based service. We’ve been hard at work on these apps and hope to make them available to everyone soon.
Over the past months, it has been exciting to see the Circle team grow and to see our product, operations, support, legal and compliance, security, and finance teams execute on launching our service. Importantly, though, we are just getting started. What we’ve delivered today is the beginning of an arc of innovation that we hope to keep delivering in the years to come.
We’re excited to invite you to become a customer, and we look forward to your feedback, questions, and comments. We have a lot to build and learn, and we’re excited to iterate in the market together.
Thanks and enjoy Circle!
- The Circle Team