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Bitcoin cred boosted by $25m cash infusion into Coinbase

Andreessen Horowitz venture capital flowing into digital currency manager

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The Bitcoin sector has been given a new boost of confidence following a $25m investment by famed Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

The firm said that it would take a stake in Coinbase, a San Francisco startup that specializes in managing Bitcoin wallets and facilitates transactions between customers and merchants. The company reports some 600,000 user accounts and 16,000 merchant partnerships.

The company said that the investment would be its largest ever, dwarfing previous venture capital investments that had topped out at $6m.

Proponents of the Bitcoin platform are hailing the investment and the vote of confidence it gives to the digital currency.

"This funding solidifies our position as the largest and fastest growing Bitcoin service in the US," Coinbase said when announcing the investment.

"We plan to use the funds to expand our team, continue to educate the market, and promote the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin," they said.

In addition to the injection of funds, Andreeessen Horowitz said that it will appoint investor Chris Dixon to Coinbase's board of directors. The firm will also be hiring Gavin Andresen from the Bitcoin open source project to serve as an advisor.

"The Internet is based on a set of core protocols that specify how information such as text, photos, and code should be transmitted," Dixon wrote in a blog post..

"The designers of the Web built placeholders for a system that moved money, but never successfully completed it," he wrote. "Bitcoin is the first plausible proposal for an economic protocol for the internet."

Meanwhile, the technology and finance worlds continue to clash over the future of Bitcoin and the speculative market that has helped to push its exchange value to to nearly $900 on exchange markets at the time of writing.

Last week, Bank of America gave the currency a vote of confidence with a favorable report on its future, while banks in China condemned Bitcoin as an enabler of criminal cash transactions.®

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