Circle opens up, inviting anyone to link their bank account to Bitcoin

Circle founder Jeremy Allaire (photo by Globe staff / David L. Ryan)
Circle founder Jeremy Allaire (photo by Globe staff / David L. Ryan)

Today, Boston-based Circle Internet Financial opened up its invite-only Bitcoin financial service to everyone.

Anyone in the US can now use Circle to link their bank accounts to Bitcoin accounts and start using the crypto-currency. Amazingly, there is no fee to transfer funds between accounts. Additionally, like most money held by banks, Bitcoin funds held through Circle are insured. (Circle customers will have 100 percent of their full deposit value covered according to the company.)

Circle’s founder Jeremy Allaire aims to make the adoption of Bitcoin more widespread by promoting the transfer of currencies and allowing users to send and receive the digital currency. Allaire also founded the online video platform Brightcove.

In a blog post, Allaire said, “When we set out to build Circle, we imagined a new kind of Internet-centric consumer financial service, one that the average person would find enjoyable and powerful, built on the promises of Bitcoin – instant, global, secure, free transactions.”

“What we’ve delivered today is the beginning of an arc of innovation that we hope to keep delivering in the years to come,” he added.

In addition to opening up Circle to the public, the company also made announcements regarding international expansion, laid out the specifics of its insurance policy,  and hinted that it will soon launch iOS and Android apps.

The move by Circle is another step towards a possible greater acceptance of the digital currency. One of the biggest hesitations for people to convert to Bitcoin or invest more related services (borrowing, payment applications, etc.) has been the fears stoked by massive Bitcoin debacles like the fall of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox.

With its insurance policy, no transaction fees, and now public availability, Circle may have the inside track to becoming the gateway for the massive growth of Bitcoin use.

Dennis Keohane was a Senior Staff Writer for BetaBoston.
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