BitBeat: Allaire’s Circle Releases Bitcoin Wallet

-The Circle is now complete. Circle Internet Financial, the bitcoin startup founded by Jeremy Allaire, finally released its bitcoin wallet service, unveiling it at the Sibos2014 financial conference in Boston on Monday (you can watch a live stream of it here; Bill Gates, incidentally, is scheduled to speak on Thursday).
On the one hand, Circle’s offering isn’t ground breaking. It’s essentially a bitcoin wallet. On the other hand, it’s different from other bitcoin wallets, and may be the first product that is user friendly to the non-bitcoin crowd. Previous wallet services, like the one from Blockchain, have been designed for a technically oriented crowd; they are expressly a place to store your bitcoins and using them requires some technical knowledge. Circle is expressly designed for a non-technical crowd; it is a place to store and spend money digitally, a subtle but key difference, and requires only that users understand the Internet in general.
Account balances, for instance, are rendered in the users’ home currency. Circle is using bitcoin for transactions, but as far as the user is concerned, that’s in the background. They don’t even need to be aware of bitcoin.
‘Our mission is really to radically simplify consumer financial products, retail consumer financial products, by building entirely on digital platforms,’ Mr. Allaire said during his presentation.

This post was published at Wall Street Journal on Sep 29, 2014.

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