Bitcoin Processor Raises $30 Million

bitpaynew13 May 2014 / WSJ – Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson and Yahoo Inc. YHOO -0.03% co-founder Jerry Yang are part of an investor group that plowed $30 million into Bitpay, valuing the bitcoin-payments processor at about $160 million in the biggest venture-capital investment in the digital-currency industry.

The deal, announced Tuesday, shows venture capitalists are betting that bitcoin will keep gaining acceptance despite a string of legal and regulatory setbacks that have undermined its reputation and caused its price to fall by more than half since December.

In an email, Mr. Branson said his investment was driven by his belief that “[b]anking as we know it is in the midst of enormous change and innovation.” He noted that Virgin had already “jumped in by investing in alternative payment models and also by accepting bitcoin for tickets on Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline” and described Bitpay as a service that “continues to build trust, legitimacy and momentum in this exciting currency revolution.”

Bitcoin, launched in 2009, is a virtual currency that users create, or mine, using high-powered computers. A rising number of businesses in the past few years have begun accepting bitcoin for payment, from blogging-software provider WordPress to retailer

Bitpay processes customer payments in bitcoin for merchants, offering them the option of receiving funds in the digital currency or exchanging them for a traditional currency….. Read more

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