The price of Bitcoin has plummeted in recent weeks, dropping to low levels not seen since the end of 2013. But this hasn’t put off investors. Virtual currency startup Coinbase has just closed a $US75 million round of funding, Fortune is reporting — the largest ever for a Bitcoin company.
Coinbase offers customers digital wallets allowing them to store their Bitcoin, as well as providing an exchange platform.
Launched in 2012, the company has now raised $US105 million in venture capital funding. Investors in this most recent round include the New York Stock Exchange, banks USAA and BBVA, and former Citibank CEO Vikram Pandit, as well as Andreesson Horowitz, Reddit Capital and Union Square Ventures (who had all previously invested).
The $US75 million funding round is believed to value the company at $US400 million, though this couldn’t be confirmed.
Coinbase’s platform is used by several major Bitcoin-accepting mainstream companies, Re/code reports, including Overstock and Expedia. The service also has almost 2 million customers.
Co-founder Fred Ehrsam told Fortune that Coinbase has grown extensively over 2014, despite the slump in price. “Price volatility isn’t good for certain uses of Bitcoin,” he said. “But, in that same time period, we went from 600,000 users to 2.1 million users.”
The company also aims to help develop apps on top of the Bitcoin platform, and make the virtual currency more straightforward to ordinary people. Speaking in London in 2014, CEO Brian Armstrong likened Bitcoin’s current state to “the early days of the Internet” prior to mass adoption.
Here’s a tweet confirming the news:
It’s much-needed good news for the Bitcoin community, which has been through a tumultuous few weeks. The virtual currency’s value is currently hovering around the $US210 mark — down $US100 from just a month ago. The price drop has forced cloud mining service CEX.io to halt operations because they’re no longer profitable. And hackers recently made off with $US5 million in Bitcoin from exchange Bitstamp.
Interestingly, though the drop in price hasn’t been accompanied by a decrease in trading. It’s actually quite the opposite: amid mass speculation, the volume of trades surged to record levels last week.