Circle Hires Naeem Ishaq as Chief Financial Officer

Global peer-to-peer payment and cryptocurrency investment service Circle has hired Naeem Ishaq, a former executive at Boxed and Square, as CFO, Treasurer, and Executive Vice President of Risk.

Last month, Circle made headlines when the company acquired the digital asset exchange Poloniex.  Up until December 2016, Circle operated a bitcoin exchange and hosted wallet.  It has since ceased offering this service and now offers cryptocurrency investments through its newly launched app, Circle Invest.  While this platform allows users to buy and sell several popular digital currencies, it is not a true wallet service, as it does not allow users to send or receive virtual currency payments.  However, the company claims that it is planning to support cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals in the near future.

Naeem IshaqIshaq is joining the Circle team at a time of tremendous growth for the young company.  During the time period between last December and February, Circle facilitated over $75 billion in transactions, according to growth metrics released by the company.  Circle currently has over 7 million customers in more than 200 countries, and usage has grown by 450% in the past year.  Circle has offices and personnel in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Dublin, London, Paris, Madrid, Milan, Beijing and Hong Kong.  Notably, Circle has received $50 million in funding from the investment bank Goldman Sachs.

In the blog post announcing the hiring of Ishaq, Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire wrote, “At this pivotal stage, we are growing from a startup to leading global company, just as crypto goes from early adopter novelty into being foundational to the future of society and the economy.”

Naeem Ishaq is familiar with the executive operations of fin-tech startups. Prior to joining Circle, Ishaq was the CFO of the New York-based e-commerce company Boxed, and before that, he held the position of Head of Finance, Strate, y and Risk at Square, a company that offers point-of-sale systems for businesses and merchants through smartphone and tablet technology.  Ishaq also held the position of Senior Director of Finance and Strategy at Salesforce, a customer relationship management service, where he supported all M&A activity.

In their blog post, Neville and Allaire also wrote,

“While Naeem’s professional background is noteworthy and highly relevant for Circle, we are especially excited for his values, energy, intelligence, passion and mission-driven focus that is aligned with Circle’s goal of building a long-term technology company with global impact. Naeem’s thoughtfulness and moral compass resonate with the kind of culture we are seeking to foster here at Circle.”

Hopefully, this acquisition of a talented new member will help the Circle team achieve their goal of bringing user-friendly blockchain payment technology and cryptocurrency investment services to people across the world.

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