Bitcoin is getting yet another big vote of confidence today: lots and lots of investor money.
Coinbase, a wallet service that lets users buy and sell Bitcoin, has raised $25 million, the largest investor amount poured into Bitcoin so far. The round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, brings the total raised by the San Francisco-based company to $31 million. Existing investors Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital also participated in the round.
If you’re a Bitcoin bull, that’s probably music to your ears. If you’re a bear, it probably makes you nauseous.
There shouldn’t be much doubt about where Coinbase’s investors stand, though. Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Dixon, who is joining the Coinbase board, says that Bitcoin is the payment system the Internet was always meant to have: It’s decentralized, low-cost, and, most importantly, a platform for other technologies.
“Bitcoin is the first plausible proposal for an economic protocol for the Internet,” Dixon wrote on his blog today.
Where does Coinbase fit into all of this? Since launching just last year, the service has become the most widely used Bitcoin service in the U.S. As Bitcoin’s price has risen to new heights, so has Coinbase’s userbase. The service now counts over 600,000 wallets, a huge increase over the 200,000 wallets it claimed back in August.
More, unlike Bitcoin, which is known for its often wild fluctuations, Coinbase is stable, which means when users put their money into it they can be (relatively) confident nothing’s going to happen to it.
More, Coinbase has become one of the more visible business-friendly Bitcoin exchanges out there. When sites like Reddit, OkCupid, and Khan Academy decided to accept Bitcoin, they did so with Coinbase.
So if this whole Bitcoin thing ends up taking off the way it looks like it will, there’s a good chance Coinbase is going take off as well.