CENTRE raises $20 million to build crypto consumer payment network

CENTRE has announced it has successfully closed $20 million in initial funding through a SAFT sale to bootstrap the creation of a non-profit foundation to oversee development of the CENTRE open protocol, services, network, and partnerships. A SAFT, or Simple Agreement for Future Tokens, is an instrument employed to allow partners and participants to establish early stakes in the network ahead of a future public sale of tokens that will enable the use of the network.

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.

CENTRE represents a new open source suite of protocols and network scheme to connect people through global finance. Built upon intellectual property created at Circle which services millions of customers in production today, CENTRE aims to connect the world’s disparate and competing digital wallets: a common set of protocols and a network scheme that will allow money to flow between wallets the same way information moves between web browsers and servers, email between mail services, text messages between SMS providers — providing network effects to all.

The CENTRE protocols include support for transmitting fiat money over blockchain implementations, a service provider mechanism to support trust and identity decisions, rules for payment settlement and reversals, and the secure exchange of KYC/AML-related information to meet compliance obligations.

CENTRE is open source software which is expected to be available for public collaboration and contribution by developers globally. CENTRE software enables wallet-to-wallet transactions within and across currencies, including native crypto assets as well as digital fiat assets (digital dollars, euros and other currencies).

The initial implementation of the protocols currently exists at Circle, where it is manifested as a proprietary ledger exposed to Circle’s partners through a set of partner APIs. Partners, identified by the partner tokens they employ to call upon these APIs, utilize the protocols today to achieve wallet and account interoperability for the purpose of settling transactions involving fiat currency crosses (for example, the current implementation supports a partnership enabling transfer of US dollars into Korean won).


CENTRE plans to create a new implementation of these protocols that is not proprietary, but rather an open global public utility. The protocol itself is implementation-independent and blockchain agnostic, not dependent upon one particular underlying blockchain, programming language, operating system, or settlement infrastructure.

Though CENTRE plans its next implementation of the protocols to be deployed on the Ethereum network and make use of ERC20 tokens as an iteration on the initial Circle implementation which is not based on Ethereum, the protocol is designed for compatibility across multiple other DLT technologies and runtimes, and multiple implementations are expected to be created for other blockchains. The protocols function at an architectural layer on top of Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other blockchain implementations without being tightly coupled to them or requiring one specific implementation in particular.

CENTRE can support many settlement rails, including other blockchains both public and private, and bank rails including traditional wire protocols. To increase transactional capacity and drive costs toward zero, CENTRE makes heavy use of “state channels” to move value. State channels enable multiple transactions to occur securely and swiftly without publishing every individual transaction to an underlying blockchain ledger. This mechanism is also viewed as increasing privacy protections.

CENTRE also plans to offer a service provider mechanism to support trust and identity decisions, rules for payment settlement and reversals, and the secure exchange of KYC/AML-related information to meet compliance obligations.

For more information see the CENTRE whitepaper.

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