Bitcoin startup Coinbase raises $25m in funding

Bitcoins: Coinbase claims more than 600,000 consumer Bitcoin wallets on its service
Bitcoins: Coinbase claims more than 600,000 consumer Bitcoin wallets on its service

Bitcoin start-up Coinbase, a company which lets people trade in virtual currency Bitcoins through its online wallet, has found $25m (£15.3m) backing from a venture capital firm.

Coinbase claims there are more than 600,000 consumer Bitcoin wallets on its service, signalling what the company believes to be "one of the most important shifts in the global economy in our time".

The series-B funding secured by Coinbase has been led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from investors Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital.

The deal is the largest fundraise in Bitcoin to date, and Coinbase intends to use the money to expand its team, "continue to educate the market" and to promote the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin.

Coinbase claims to be the only company that "touches the three most important points of the Bitcoin ecosystem – consumers, merchants, and developers".

It says it is averaging 10,000 new customer sign-ups a day, and is now working with more than 16,000 merchants including OkCupid, Khan Academy, and Reddit, who use Coinbase to accept Bitcoins.

In November, the world's first Bitcoin ATM opened in Vancouver, Canada, where people are able to exchange the digital currency for cash and their cash for Bitcoins.  

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