Circle, a blockchain startup backed by Goldman Sachs, has launched commission-free cryptocurrency trading, the company said on Wednesday, riding a wave of interest from retail investors for the digital asset class.
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Circle made the headlines last month after it has acquired the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, in a deal that valued the crypto venue at about $400 million.
The company announced on its website today that it has expended early access to its new “Circle Invest” app to cover most of U.S. states, except for New York, Minnesota, Hawaii, and Wyoming.
Circle will be going up against established players like Coinbase’s GDAX exchange. Also, commission-free investing app Robinhood debuted in February to offer zero-fee trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum alongside traditional investment products.
To make its platform stand out from competitors, Circle Invest was equipped to offer custodial account and liquidity options, as well as a secure wallet functionality.
The blockchain startups seek to carve out their niche by letting traders buy and sell cryptocurrency for $0 a trade. In doing so, Circle and Robinhood make money from order flows, a common tactic used by discount brokers to generate revenue by directing orders to certain trading venues. They also receive interest on unused cash deposits from user accounts and offers a premium paid account, which gives users added features.
Announcing the launch, Circle said in a statement: “We’re eager to hear feedback on this early access version of Invest from everyone — from newcomers and from crypto experts alike. 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, and we are only just getting started.”
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