Circle Puts Bitcoin Research Wing On Ice

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Circle announced today that it would be putting a halt to its research arm, a department within the company whose analysts and economists develop high-quality, usable research for crypto investors, speculators, analysts, and journalists.

Circle launched the project just 10 months ago, writing at the time:

“In crypto markets, reliable information is difficult to come by, yet continues to be the most valuable asset. Reading dense and technical white papers, Twitter, Medium, Reddit, and Telegram can be a good way to learn about crypto assets but requires a significant amount of time and might not lead to true insights.”

Circle Yields To Binance Yet Again

The following month, Binance launched its own research wing.

Circle is the parent company of one of Binance’s primary antecedents, Poloniex.

Circle’s free reports came out at least once a week, with in-depth research on various subjects including decentralized exchanges, where Circle cast a conclusive net:

“[M]ost DEXs are not fully decentralized, making them as vulnerable to regulators enforcing securities laws as centralized exchanges.”

Circle wants some time to reassess the value of its research wing. Crypto research is a crowded, competitive, and complex industry where an industry player such as an exchange has a disadvantage on the grounds of “objectivity” or lack thereof.

A Learning Experience

The company said of its research roll-up:

“We’ve learned a tremendous amount from your feedback and from the impressive community of researchers in our industry. […] [I]t’s time to evaluate our contribution and overall strategy. With that in mind, we’ve decided to pause Circle Research activity for the time being as we decide on a future direction for the program.”

Earlier this year, Circle laid off about 10% of its workforce. Citing government over-regulation as well as a down market, CEO Jeremy Allaire had the following explanation to offer Twitter:

At the time, Bitcoin was just finally coming out of a long-winded down period, where it refused to jump much above $3,500 for months on end.

Circle has also recently announced that it will be ending its Circle Pay application on the 30th of this month. Circle Pay was the company’s first offering. It will instead focus its attention on institutional products and its “vision for a free, open and transparent global payments network.”