In the season where a lot of Bitcoin startups are receiving attractive funding from venture capitalists, Coinbase is just another name. However, this time the funding has come from a renowned venture capital fund that is backed by one of Australia’s biggest banks, Westpac Venture. The company has decided to fund Coinbase to help it leverage and expand.
Elaborating the funding Coinbase says that it planned to work closely with Reinventure Group, a financial-technology-focused firm that counts Westpac Banking Corp. as its largest investor, and would share insights on the use of digital currencies globally. The confirmation communication has also come from a spokesman for Reinventure.
The spokesperson for Reinventure confirmed an undisclosed strategic investment had been made in Coinbase, which already has backing from the New York Stock Exchange, banks and venture-capital firms. This has surprised those who have been observing Bitcoin activities in Australia as not many banks have shown their interest in Bitcoin companies.
Westpac has, directly and through Reinventure, sought to work more closely with innovative companies and what are viewed as disruptive technologies. Nonetheless, an investment in the U.S. Bitcoin company could offer it greater insight into the risk profile of such operators and the technology that Bitcoin backers are betting will transform the movement of money.
Bitcoin has Limited Penetration in Australia
Interestingly, Bitcoin has not yet been able to penetrate deep in Australia; first because the local authorities and regulators are hammering it, second not many startups have started serving the locals. Earlier, the Australian Crime Commission launched an investigation into the possible links between digital currencies such as Bitcoin and organized crime.
This spooked many Bitcoin companies and users as well in Australia. In fact, the commission in March said the currencies were a growing threat in online purchases of illicit goods and for transfers between criminals. With such hostile conditions, it is difficult for Bitcoin companies to operate from Australia; however, the step from Westpac definitely is a welcome one.
Earlier in January, Coinbase opened the first licensed U.S. Bitcoin exchange which the company said offers greater security for individuals and institutions to trade and monitor real-time pricing of the digital currency. Nonetheless, the NYSE invested in the startup during a US$75 million round of fundraising that closed that month as well.
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