Circle’s Crypto OTC Desk Sees $24B Growth in 2018

Boston-based peer-to-peer (P2) payments firm Circle states that its very own over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading desk has successfully swapped a total “notional volume” of $24 million in 2018. The Circle Trade desk has also purportedly completed over 10,000 crypto-related settlements among 600 different counterparties last year.

According to a blog post dated January 3, Circle claims it has seen remarkable growth over the last 12 months as it services over 8 million users from 195 various countries. Circle states it has completed over 200 million crypto asset transactions, which is worth more than $75 million. The company further says that clients come from different parts of the world, with U.S. customers comprising 30 percent of the volume, closely followed by E.U. and U.K. users at 24 percent, and the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America responsible at 31 percent.

Circle has also commented about the company’s acquisition of crypto trading platform Poloniex, adding that the exchange’s services have seen significant improvement in 2018. In the blog post, Circle underscores:

“Through expansion in support operations and engineering, we helped customers by reducing nearly 200,000 open tickets at the start of 2018 to fewer than 1,000 by year-end.”

Circle further states that Poloniex now possesses improved risk and compliance operations which enable the trading platform to onboard users minutes upon enrollment. The Boston-based company explains that Poloniex is expected to experience further UX improvements this 2019 in addition to “continued launch of new markets.”

Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s founders, elaborate that in 2018 the company’s retail investment services have also increased. The pair says that over 30 percent of users purchase “unique collections” of crypto assets on a regular basis. Recurring and repeat purchases account for more than 30 percent of all purchases on Circle Invest, which means they have double since September 2018. Despite last year’s crypto bear market, Circle’s OTC desk has seen notable growth. Circle Trade has generated an estimated $24 billion in OTC crypto volume from its 24/7 operations in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Circle Trade has transacted 10,000 OTC swaps in 600 various countries of the world with its 26 various cryptocurrencies. The financial firm also explains that Circle’s clientele and partners are composed of asset managers, other OTC desks, family offices, high net worth individuals, endowments, token projects, and even exchanges.

Furthermore, Circle’s very own stablecoin, the USDC is currently backed by 40 exchanges, which proves “significant penetration” last year. The USDC is now being utilized by more than 80 companies such as wallets and other use cases. While other companies have been implementing staff reductions, Circle’s institutional sales team has tripled. The 2018 report is clear proof that the cryptocurrency ecosystem is not yet dead even if investment providers has turned its focus on institutional customers. 2018 has seen the advent to OTC buyers and institutional customers. Meanwhile, other major crypto companies such as Coinbase, Blockchain, and eToro have expressed their intention to create OTC desks in order to attract institutional customers as well.