The Coinbase-Like Cryptocurrency of Circle Investing App Enters Closed Beta


Fintech startup Circle's Coinbase-like cryptocurrency investing program «Circle Invest» has entered a closed beta.

It isn't clear just when the Circle Invest beta started, but users began reporting that they had received invitations on March 6. I got my invitation the following day, at which time Google Play indicated that approximately 100 users had downloaded the Android version of the app.

Circle Invest supplies retail investors with access to Circle Trade, the company's institutional trading desk. The platform doesn't charge commission, instead skimming its earnings from the spread between the buy and sell price, which Circle says will average 1 percent depending on market conditions.

The app has a very simple interface which includes overall portfolio tracking in addition to modules for each individual cryptocurrency.

Notably absent is Ripple's XRP token, which is featured in pictures advertising Circle Invest but is not currently available from the app's beta version.

Circle advertises that users will have immediate access to their funds (up to $10,000 a week), and they can invest with as little as $1. However, users who abuse the system by making purchases with insufficient funds in their linked bank accounts will eliminate the ability to produce instant buys.

Users are not able to make cryptocurrency deposits during this phase of the beta, but the organization says deposits will be added later on. The program is also currently only available to US customers, though many states are excluded because of their cash transmitter regulations.

Unfortunately, I couldn't test the program's core performance, as a bug caused the app to crash when I tried to register an account. This might be because my cellular device is several generations old, but in any case, I expect it to be addressed in a later upgrade.

Circle hasn't yet revealed a particular target date for the program's production release, but it's stated in the past it expects Circle Invest to go live in 2018. When it does, it will join a growing list of opponents to Coinbase, the dominant force in the usa cryptocurrency brokerage market.

Square Cash's US customers can purchase and sell Bitcoin through its mobile app, while Robinhood has rolled out Bitcoin and Ethereum trading to users in five nations.

However, of those three, Circle Invest is the app which most closely mirrors Coinbase eponymous brokerage program and — owing to its former life as a Bitcoin exchange,  its profitable trading desk, and its recent acquisition of cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex — it's also the firm with the deepest roots in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.