Peer to peer payments company Circle has announced a new feature for its Circle Invest cryptocurrency investment platform, called Collections. The option, available to all users with immediate effect, will allow an investor to purchase a group of cryptocurrencies at once.
For now, Circle is offering three cryptocurrency categories, or as the press release calls it, ‘Collections.’ Each category gets its label based on the included cryptocurrencies, which at this time include ‘payments,’ ‘platforms’ and ‘privacy.’
The Circle Invest app was released in March 2018 with the aim of simplifying the crypto purchase process. Launched in 46 US states, the app offered instant deposits and a feeless pricing structure. The release post noted, “With no minimums, instant deposits, no commissions on a variety of coins, performance tracking and more – we’ve made it fast, cheap and simple to invest in crypto and digital assets.”
Investing in Crypto “Collections”
Since its release earlier this year, Circle Invest has attempted to offer a straightforward user experience, especially for beginner users making their first cryptocurrency investment. The list of supported currencies initially included Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ethereum Classic. However, in recent months, more tokens have been added, including EOS, Stellar and Monero.
In a recent blog post, Circle acknowledged that its sudden inclusion of new cryptocurrencies might overwhelm newcomers and confuse them further. To combat this, it launched a feature called ‘Buy the Market,’ which allowed users to purchase all cryptocurrencies on the platform. The user’s investment would be split up based on the market capitalization of each currency. For instance, bitcoin would receive a more significant share of the investment relative to Litecoin or Stellar as practically every other token has a lower market cap.
According to Circle, 30 percent of the app’s users are already using the ‘Buy the Market’ feature to spread their investment. Given the feature’s popularity, Circle is now also trying to offer specialized sublists that only contain a handful of cryptocurrencies each. This approach will allow users to purchase ‘payment’-related tokens such as bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar and Litecoin, or ‘privacy’-focused ones such as Monero and Zcash. Users can invest in a specific collection for any value above $10.
Circle Invest: Past, Future, and Competition
Released in 2013, Circle is most well known for its efforts in the peer-to-peer mobile payments ecosystem. After disrupting the fiat payments sector with its feeless service Circle Pay, the company began attracting venture capital funding from several financial behemoths, including investment firm Goldman Sachs. All in all, it managed to raise $135 million in four rounds between 2013 and 2016. Today, Circle’s fiat payments arm is available in more than 29 countries, with support for US dollars, British pounds and the Euro.
However, the company also built several cryptocurrency-related tools, including a bitcoin wallet service and a trading platform. It was even among the first to receive a New York BitLicense to conduct crypto-related business in the region. However, Circle shut down both offerings in late 2016 to focus on ‘blockchain-based remittances’ and ‘next-gen technology’ instead.
With the launch of Circle Invest, it is clear that the company is trying to be the de facto crypto investment platform on mobile. However, the recent start of Robinhood Crypto means that it is not the only player in the space. U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase also recently announced a similar feature called ‘Coinbase Bundle,’ which gives users a market-weighted investment of all five currencies available on the platform.