Circle’s Head of Partnerships Joins Blockchain Startup Celo

Chuck Kimble helped to launch the USD-pegged stablecoin USDC at crypto finance company Circle.

Chuck Kimble, who helped to launch the USD-pegged stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) at crypto finance company Circle, has reportedly joined blockchain firm Celo as head of strategic partnerships. The development was reported on Feb. 6 by Celo’s Medium page.

Celo is a blockchain startup working to create a mobile-based crypto-payments network — using fiat-collateralized stablecoins — by mapping phone numbers to wallet addresses with a decentralized address-based encryption algorithm.

Kimble’s role as head of partnerships at Circle spanned nine months, according to his LinkedIn profile, which has not yet been updated to reflect his new position at Celo.

During those nine months, Circle developed USDC together with major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Kimble is also founding team member of Centre.io, a consortium which both firms established to support USDC, and previously worked at payments firm Square, as well as Visa.

The new appointment will reportedly be focused on forging partnerships to help bring Celo’s “financial products to emerging markets and under-served populations around the world.”

The startup’s founder, Rene Reinsberg, underscored that Kimble’s previous experience in fintech had fostered his understanding of “how digital payment services can help people and families with no access to financial services.”

According to the company website, Celo’s backers include stalwart blockchain space investors Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as Coinbase Ventures and Square founder Jack Dorsey.

Stablecoins are a type of crypto asset designed to experience less price volatility — either by being notionally fiat-collateralized or via an algorithmic peg. Crypto industry leaders have adopted the view that the burgeoning asset class will play an integral role in an future tokenized global economy, playing a role not only in payments, but also in enabling the development of sectors such as tokenized securities.

Earlier this week, a former executive at Tether also joined the advisory board of a new stablecoin clearing house project.

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