Bitcoin goes mainstream with Circle Payments solution

After months of working with customers in an invite only phase, Jeremy Allaire has opened his long-awaited bitcoin product Circle up to the public.

Allaire and wanted to build a new kind of internet centric consumer financial service, supported by bitcoin, that would appeal to the average person rather than just bitcoin enthusiasts.

“We wanted to create an experience that is fast, beautiful, and enjoyable to use,” Allaire announced. “Online banking applications stink.”

“We also wanted to reduce the friction that so many people – even sophisticated, technology-savvy people – often experience in acquiring and spending Bitcoin. Starting today, people can onboard into a Circle account and begin using digital money within minutes, not days.”

“And Circle eliminates the labyrinth of fees and complex user interfaces designed for traders,” he added.

To sign up for Circle all you need is an an e-mail address, phone number and some credit card or bank data, so you can store or send Bitcoin. The whole process only takes a few minutes, unlike some of the early Bitcoin storage services, especially ones that are based offline. There are password retrieval questions, unlike other wallet-esque services – Allaire seems against actually calling Circle a wallet – where you might have to remember a mnemonic or risk losing your account permanently.

But Circle may face some problems in that web-based solutions have faced some criticism that they’re less secure than desktop wallets. But Circle is built with a multi-signature architecture, according to TechCrunch.

Circle available in seven languages, which collectively cover approximately 40% of the world’s population. Circle’s site, product, and customer support content are all available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish (Latin American), German, and French – and the company is planning to add more languages as (they hope) adoption grows.

As an incentive, Circle has, once again, clarified its insurance plan. In May, the company announced that they would offer customers insurance from theft on 100 percent of their bitcoin account balances. Since then, Allaire writes, Circle has acquired more underwriters for both online and cold storage / offline assets, noting that “insurance on Bitcoin is a new market, and we’re proud to be a market maker in establishing this valuable service to users of digital assets.”

Native apps for iOS and Android are currently in beta testing.

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