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Circle has bought Poloniex, a cryptocurrency exchange, for around $400 million

It’s one of the larger deals in the crypto-economy.

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire stands next to a neon sign that reads “bitcoin accepted here.”
Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Circle, which runs a cryptocurrency platform that allows larger clients to trade bitcoin on the market, has bought one of the underlying exchanges, Poloniex, in a deal that values Poloniex at about $400 million.

The ballpark deal price, confirmed by a person with knowledge of the terms, is one of the larger transactions in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry, though Circle itself remains private (and could go up or down in value). Poloniex is the 18th largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, according to Coin Market Cap.

Circle, which also functions as a social payments company for people to send cash or cryptocurrencies to one another, is now positioning itself with this acquisition as a competitor to Coinbase. Coinbase is one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley — thanks to a surge of consumer and investor interest in trading cryptocurrency — and Circle seems to think there’s room for another player.

Circle has raised $140 million from investors like Goldman Sachs and Jim Breyer. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire appeared on Recode’s Too Embarassed to Ask podcast last year — you can listen here.

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