Michele Burns, a board member at Goldman Sachs and Cisco (and until recently Wal-Mart), has joined the board at Jeremy Allaire’s startup, Circle.
CNNMoney’s Fortune magazine broke the news last night, December 27, but did not receive comment from Circle. The story only cites two “sources with knowledge of her move.”
Circle is a Bitcoin payment processing startup that, as we reported in November, secured a $9 million round of funding around Halloween.
Allaire, who gained notoriety in tech circles as the founder of Brightove, has become a big proponent of digital currencies, which led to Circle’s creation. Burns joins Jim Breyer (investor and early Facebook backer) and Raj Date (former deputy director of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) on Circle’s board as the latest addition to Allaire’s all-star team.
To recap: These are connections with Washington and Wall Street right on Circle’s board.
Fortune senior editor Stephen Gandel speculates that Burns’ addition could position Circle for a big move into wider adoption of Bitcoin among retailers. This comes on the heels of the announcement from billion-dollar online retailer Overstock.com that it would soon be accepting Bitcoin payments.
Furthermore, the move could be a sign of a wider level of acceptance for Bitcoin among established financial players, Gandel writes.
Earlier this month, according to the New York Times, Allaire hosted a gathering in Manhattan that included “a venture capitalist, a former regulator, a lawyer and a pair of entrepreneurs … to discuss their vision of a world in which [Bitcoin] plays a role in mainstream finance.”
“The rising value of Bitcoin is a put option, or a bet, that Bitcoin gets adopted as a medium of exchange,” Allaire told the paper back in early December.
Put all of these clues together, and you start to get an idea of how big Circle’s ambitions are.