今年10月31日，多次闯荡创业之路的企业家杰里米•奥莱尔又宣布在波士顿成立Circle公司，致力于开发数字货币交易所需的工具，推出的工具可受理商家提供的数字货币。奥莱尔还公布，Circle已向风投公司Accel Partners与General Catalyst募得A轮融资900万美元。这两家投资公司还曾经在2004年帮助奥莱尔创立网络视频平台Brightcove。
Serial entrepreneur Jeremy Allaire yesterday announced the launch of Circle, a Boston-based developer of digital currency acceptance tools for merchants. He also disclosed that the company has raised $9 million of Series A funding from Accel Partners and General Catalyst, both of whom helped Allaire create Brightcove (BCOV) back in 2004.
So we took some time to speak with Allaire about the new company, and the broader future of digital currency. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation:
FORTUNE: Is this new company why you stepped down as CEO of Brightcove back in January?
ALLAIRE: No, not at all. I really didn't have any plans to start another company. I thought it would be nice to relax a bit or do some investing. But I had been familiar with the digital currency space for a year or so, and really after I stepped off into the chairman role I began to get very interested in the subject and problem space once I had more time to think about it, so in the spring I decided to start Circle."
There are some other VC-backed startups working on Bitcoin acceptance solutions for merchants. How will your product differ?
Certainly there are some conceptual similarities to other products out there. But, stepping back, my impression on the whole is that this is a very young market, like pre-Web in some ways. So while there are some business projects out there going after some of the same territory, the market is still very wide open. We're also taking a somewhat different approach to problems on the consumer and merchant side of things, which we'll be talking about more later.
When you look at digital currency, and Bitcoin specifically, at the core is utility value. It's a system to instantly transmit money and to nearly instantly confirm and process those transactions. And you can do all of that at no cost. To drive mainstream adoption you need to take that technological innovation and apply to from a merchants perspective of reducing costs and fraud risks. As more and more businesses offer it as a payment option, that will drive more consumer interest.