Bitcoin prices down, institutional interest up at Circle

Circle investment interest up

Bitcoin prices down, institutional interest up at Circle

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Circle TradeThe price of bitcoin may be trading near its lowest point in 2018 but Goldman Sachs-backed start-up Circle has seen a 30% increase in institutional interest in cryptocurrency investments according to a CNBC report.

The company said its transaction volume in May was 15 times higher than the previous month.

$2 billion in daily trading volume

“In May, which was a challenging month, we saw a sharp increase of unique new counter-parties,” Circle founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire told CNBC in a phone interview. “A lot of folks on the institutional side are onboarding and getting their ducks in a row.”

Circle is processing an estimated $2 billion in trading daily and is now automating its Circle Trade orders and settlements process for investors.

$250,000 order size minimum

Circle is seeing increased institutional investor interestThe company maintains a $250,000 minimum order size for institutional clients and Circle Trade is now one of the largest over-the-counter cryptocurrency trading desks for institutional clients.

“Major institutional investors don’t go through a telephone broker. They go through an electronic interface,” Allaire said. “We’re maturing this into a more traditional product; it’s much faster and a more flexible way to trade.”

The automated trading devolved from conversations with institutional investors such as family offices and venture capital funds who wanted the ability to handle transactions of $100,000 to $1 million in high-frequency trades.

Where are retail investors?

bitcoin investor growthSince bitcoin prices have plunged 50% since the start of the year, retail trading volume is much lower than in 2017. Analysts are looking for the arrival of institutional investors to help push interest in cryptocurrency and trading volumes higher again.

Circle also operates a peer-to-peer payments facility and recently acquired cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex.

The company is backed by Goldman Sachs and Chinese search engine, technology and artificial intelligence company Baidu which is headquartered in Beijing.