(Yicai Global) May 18 -- Bitmain Technologies Ltd., China's biggest maker of cryptocurrency mining equipment, will lead E-round funding in US blockchain financial services firm Circle Internet Financial Inc. worth USD110 million, bringing the company's valuation to around USD3 billion.
Shenzhen-based Bitmain will partner Circle on the launch of a new fiat-based digital token pegged to the US dollar following the funding round, the Boston-based firm said in a statement.
The new project is the latest iteration of a growing trend of so-called stable cryptocurrencies which bring all the benefits of the digital tokens without the price volatility. Circle's USD Coins (USDC) will be pegged one-to-one with the greenback.
"It's a version of fiat that can move at the speed of the Internet with global reach, with much less cost, with high levels of security," said Circle Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Allaire during an industry conference. "It's a huge improvement for how fiat money transmission can work around the world for consumers and for businesses who might want to collect digital payment with tokens."
Circle aims to provide access to USDC for its 7 million users through its Circle Pay payment app as well as in the market-making service Circle Trade. The firm's cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex will also offer the token.
Bitmain, which also operates the world's largest bitcoin mine in China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, derives most of its income from the sale of mining hardware. Prices of its machines fluctuate with the price of bitcoin itself, with the AntMiner S9 mining machine reaching USD5,000 per unit at the end of last year.
Editor: William Clegg