Jeremy Allaire, a technologist who has long seen the disruptive potential of the internet, founded Circle in 2013 with the aim of bringing bitcoin to the masses. The company has evolved over the years, counting its fair share of losses, but has indisputably played a defining role in the cryptocurrency industry. U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC), launched in collaboration with crypto exchange Coinbase and others, is now one of the largest and most trusted stablecoins. This year payments rivals Mastercard and Visa both selected USDC to run their early stablecoin projects on. In July, Allaire announced that Circle would go public in a $4.5 billion initial public offering.