Circle, or rather, a company that Circle owns, is pushing forward in the blockchain sphere as they are seeking to create an ethereum payments network.
To create this network, the team at the subsidiary of Circle has raised $20 million through a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) sale.
The startup, called CENTRE, is in the business of facilitating a path for different payment applications to connect via the utilization of tokens distributed through the ethereum blockchain.
CENTRE says that connecting every digital wallet, every currency, everywhere is their goal.
They serve as an open source, decentralized crypto-powered consumer payment network. The startup is using their open source set of protocols combined with their network scheme to allow the flow of money between wallets, similar to how information flows between web browsers or how texts flow between two different SMS providers. Their core idea is to remove the artificial economic border and enable a more efficient inclusive global marketplace.
The team at Circle says:
“CENTRE was born out of a desire to realize this vision, and this initial fundraising marks an important early milestone in its progression.”
To further their mission, they are keeping their platform open for collaboration so there can be progress and development on a global scale. One thing that they are accounting for is to be able to provide support for fiat currency flow with the attachment of trust and identity decisions, incorporating rules for payment settlement and secure KYC/AML exchange. The protocols they are built on are tested and are already in some form of production and servicing millions of consumers.
As part of their infrastructure, they are seeking to govern the platform independently. The software of CENTRE will be managed by a new separate non-profit foundation. The foundation will provide the support, governance, and ongoing R&D for the open source project.
A portion of the funding raised will be allocated to the creation of the network, while another portion will be going toward the creation of the non-profit foundation that will serve as their independent governance.
The funding efforts are being undertaken directly by CENTRE, and CENTRE will be the one to receive the funds, not the parent company, Circle.
This was a statement emphasized by the leadership team of Circle in a recent blog post:
“As a result of this funding, the CENTRE Foundation now has the capital to recruit talent, invest further in research and development, build partnerships, and become a non-profit entity independent of Circle.”
This is another utilization of the SAFT agreements which are designed to help to overcome legal hurdles in the cryptocurrency world.
According to the initial writers of SAFT agreements, the agreements are simply a commercial instrument used to convey rights in tokens prior to the development of the tokens’ functionality. In the U.S., the SAFT itself is a security, so it could be offered in a private placement to accredited investors. The tokens that are ultimately delivered to the investors, though, should be fully-functional, and therefore not securities under U.S. law. The need to limit SAFTs or tokens to accredited investors outside of the U.S. will depend upon the laws of the local jurisdiction.