Poloniex splitting from Circle, ending service for US customers

Americans are about to lose one of their cryptocurrency options, as Poloniex is exiting the market. Circle have announced the exchange is “spinning out” of their portfolio, to be run by a new company.

The Circle Twitter account broke the news on October 18, providing details of the massive change:

While Circle emphasized the $100 million investment from an Asian group, users quickly noticed the exchange would be winding down for Americans in the fourth post of their Twitter thread. U.S. trading will cease on November 1, 2019, and withdrawals will end on December 15, 2019.

In an accompanying blog post written by Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, Circle noted they would be making trading free between October 21, 2019 and the end of the year.

The good news, they wrote, was that this would allow Poloniex to have “the freedom and capital to compete in the international market, and the leadership team of Poloniex will be equipped to scale and grow beyond the scope of what Circle can provide.”

They also noted that Circle made the decision to spin out Poloniex to focus on “mainstream use cases for payments, investment, lending and fundraising.” That includes a renewed focus on their crowdfunding platform SeedInvest, and generally to focus on “a world with an open financial system.”

Eagle-eyed American Bitcoin SV (BSV) community members quickly noted that this marks the loss of another exchange on which they can trade for BSV; but others like noted community member WallStreet5 quickly suggested alternatives.

Poloniex was in the Circle family of products for less than two years. Circle initially purchased the exchange in February, 2018, paying $400 million for the exchange and promising it would “represent everything of value.”

They’ve since maintained an impartial stance in the cryptocurrency space, notably not taking sides during the contentious 2018 hard fork which saw BSV reborn to continue the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto. They’ve also tried to do right by their users each step of the way, cancelling out trading fees in August to pay back lost BTC from their May flash crash.