Circle Co-Founder Sean Neville Quits as CEO After Reshuffle: Report

Payments company Circle will install a new CEO at the start of 2020 after one of its original co-founders steps down from the position. 

According to cryptocurrency media outlet CoinDesk on Dec. 5, co-founder and co-CEO Sean Neville will transition to a post on the company’s board of directors in January.

Sean Neville becomes board member

Neville launched Circle with Jeremy Allaire in 2013, and has presided over its metamorphosis in the ensuing years, including a pivot away from Bitcoin (BTC) and the acquisition of cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex last year. 

As Cointelegraph reported, Circle is now selling Poloniex, Neville describing the current events as forming an appropriate time to switch roles.

He will additionally continue his activities with Centre, the project between Circle and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase which produced the company’s native stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC). CoinDesk quoted him as stating in an email:

“I also expect to propel the mission forward through CENTRE and other new complementary paths that traverse worthwhile challenges in infrastructure, regulatory policy, economics, and product design.” 

Neville has yet to confirm the move, and at press time had not updated his personal information on resources such as LinkedIn to reflect any changes.

All change at Circle

Circle’s sale of Poloniex, which it originally acquired for $400 million, has not gone without controversy. As part of the spin-out, United States traders will no longer be able to use the platform at all.

This week, executives announced that those who do not withdraw their funds from Poloniex before a Dec. 16 deadline would face various recriminations, including potential confiscation of their entire balance. 

Last month, several former executives at Circle launched their own cryptocurrency trading firm. CMS Holdings is headed by Daniel Matuszewski, the former head of Circle’s over-the-counter, or OTC, trading arm.

Cointelegraph has reached out to Circle and Neville for comment, but had not received a response at press time.

Circle to Charge Fees on US-Based Poloniex Traders’ Crypto After Dec. 16

Circle, the parent company of cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, says it could charge United States users fees and even confiscate users’ entire balances if they do not remove their funds.

In a blog post on Dec. 3, Circle warned that U.S. traders have no option but to stop using Poloniex, a policy adopted in preparation for the platform forming its own separate entity.

Funds must be taken from accounts by Dec. 16. If a user fails to do so, fees may apply, which in theory can total the entire account balance. The blog post stated:

“There are two fees Poloniex US customers who do not withdraw their assets may be subject to: a monthly service fee while a user continues to have assets stored on the platform, and a one-time dormancy fee when an account becomes dormant per the terms of the applicable regulations. Unclaimed assets may be sent to state governments, consistent with applicable regulations.”

Circle added that users would lose access to their Poloniex accounts, and that it would convert unclaimed tokens into its native stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC). “Poloniex US customers will NEVER be charged more than their total account balance,” the blog post concluded.

Focus on competitiveness

As Cointelegraph reported, Poloniex confirmed it would spin out from Circle in October, to trade under the new name of Polo Digital Assets. The move, executives explained at the time, aims to increase Poloniex’s competitiveness on the international market. Circle originally acquired the exchange for $400 million in early 2018. 

Last week, Poloniex relaunched a decentralized exchange (DEX), Poloni DEX, having acquired it as TRX Market, the largest DEX on blockchain network Tron.

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