The on again, off again, bitcoin/blockchain start-up Circle seems to be heading to the "on-again" side of the industry with its acquisition of Poloniex.

Those who have been in the industry for a few years may remember Circle, who used to be a go-to place to obtain small amounts of bitcoin and make payments to merchants and among peers. They went so far as to get their app on iTunes partnering with Apple.

Then in a bizarre move, they up and left the industry by removing the bitcoin part of their bitcoin app leaving nothing but a shell of yet another consumer payment app. of which there are about 1000 of on iTunes, Google Play, and Windows store.

When they left the industry they did so after stating bitcoin was basically "dead" in that they didn't see it being used beyond the next year or so, but they did support blockchain, which sounds overwhelmingly like a page out of the "Bank War on Bitcoin" handbook.

They do still act as a bitcoin wallet per say, you can still add money to your Circle app using bitcoin and send bitcoin wherever you wish to, however the buying and selling of bitcoin is no longer operational on the app which makes it further puzzling why they would up and obtain a company like Poloniex who's entire business model us based around bitcoin and buying and selling virtual currency.

Are they dealing themselves back in?

"We’re proud to announce that Circle has extended its commitment to a new vision for global finance by acquiring Poloniex, a leading token exchange platform." - Co-founders, Circle, Inc.

So what does this mean? 

Well first of all, now we know who's behind the recent arm-twisting of Poloniex users regarding the new KYC requirements that popped up late last year. Even long time veterans of the platform are now all required to subject themselves to further scrutiny and fork over identification, proof of address, and other documents to prove they are who they say they are. In other words, they need to be traceable in case authorities have a question as to what they are doing with all of this bitcoin or other virtual currency they may be moving around on and off of Poloniex. 

In a blog post, Circle stated that:

"Firstly and immediately, you can expect Circle to address customer support and scale risk, compliance, and technical operations to bolster the existing product and platform. Poloniex achieved momentum and success with rocket ship velocity — a magnificent accomplishment, but one that also comes with whiplash. Circle is a global company with the skill and experience to help in these areas as an immediate priority."

Basically Circle's KYC policy for Poloniex is the enforcement of its CYA policy, also known as its "cover your ass" policy.

As far as the rest, Poloniex has been overwhelmed in the customer support area just as every single other company in this industry has been, so that is one thing that may be an improvement. More people to ignore your support tickets the better!

Another highlight could be the "exploring the fiat USD, EUR, and GBP connectivity that Circle already brings" whereas Poloniex has always been a "virtual currency only" platform and Circle may add USD, EUR, ad GBP to the platform and that would certainly be a win.

Since the "exit" of Circle in December or 2016, there hasn't been much focus in the industry regarding what Circle has been up to, but a quick glance at their blog seems to tell the story of another payment app finding its place among the masses.

Technically they never really left, they still support bitcoin and use the blockchain, but the seemingly main purpose of their original app was dropped and many pretty much just stopped using them all together.

Apparently, they are ready to get back in the industry mainstream again.

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