Westpac's VC fund is betting on bitcoin

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Westpac’s venture capital fund Reinvesture has invested in bitcoin company Coinbase.

With a remit to invest $50 million in tech companies, Reinventure is also invested in peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne and local social media play Nabo.

Coinbase enables users to transact using bitcoin in 25 countries and is working on expanding into five new jurisdictions before the year is out. The tie up with Westpac will assist with the company’s growth strategy.

“We plan to work closely with Reinventure and share insights into the use of digital currencies globally,” the San Francisco-based startup Coinbase said. “We look forward to working with Reinventure and bringing bitcoin to new markets around the world.”

Reinventure participated in Coinbase’s Series C $US75 million round earlier this year, which also included investment from the New York Stock Exchange and Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The round was a new industry record for bitcoin startups.

Coinbase also operates a bitcoin exchange and is seeking to legitimise the market by working with regulators in the US and the UK. The startup launched in the UK back in April at a time when the government was preparing to regulate the crypto-currency using anti-money laundering frameworks.

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