January 20,2015- In This Issue:

 

Wall Street Makes a Bet on Bitcoin: NYSE Part of Historic Funding for Coinbase


 
NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) - A Wall Street icon just brought bitcoin into the big leagues. Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, The New York Stock Exchange, is part of a record-setting $75 million investment in Coinbase, the high profile bitcoin wallet and trading platform.

"This marks the first time that financial institutions have made a major investment in a Bitcoin company."

Other investors in the Series C funding round include financial services leader USAA,  BBVA, the second largest bank in Spain, and Japanese telecom giant DoCoMo.

San Francisco-based Coinbase was established in 2012 and hosts over 2.1 million consumer wallets and serves 38,000 merchants.

 

 

"With this investment, we are tapping into a new asset class by teaming up with a leading platform that is bringing transparency, security and confidence to an important growth market," said NYSE president Tom Farley. "We look forward to supporting Coinbase's growth utilizing our global distribution capabilities and market expertise."

 

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Why Bitcoin's Astonishing Price Collapse Doesn't Matter

 

Bitcoin has been smoked this year. 

 

The digital currency is down 34%. It's valued around ~$200. That is significantly down from its peak, which was near $1,000.

 

If bitcoin were simply a digital currency that exploded and collapsed, that would be that. We could all move on, and act like nothing happened. 

 

But, bitcoin is more than another fad according to venture capitalists who are pouring millions of dollars into it.

 

A year ago, when bitcon's value was flying to the moon, Marc Andreessen wrote an op-ed for The New York Times on why bitcoin matters. In it, he compared bitcoin to the internet and personal computers. He believes bitcoin has the potential to be that transformative. 


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What you missed from Andreas M. Antonopoulos's Reddit IamAMA on Bitcoin

Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin" and permanent host of the Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast, did an IamAmA (I am X Ask me Anything) on Reddit. The questions ranged widely and rested heavily Bitcoin as a technology and a cultural phenomenon.

 

Antonopoulos lasted a few hours but soon became exhausted from the dialogue, however he did say that he'd be willing to answer further questions directed at his Twitter account @aantonop.

 

For those who don't have the time to go through the entire thread and find Antonopoulos's answers, here's a few that stood out to our editors.

 

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KPMG: Bitcoin a Threat and Opportunity for Retail Banks

'Big four' auditing firm KPMG has published a report identifying bitcoin as both a threat and an opportunity to the banking sector.

 

The report, titled The Changing World of Money, outlines the factors threatening established retail banks, whilst discussing the potential of cryptocurrencies as viable payment solutions.

It states:

"New challenger organisations, from banks to peer-to-peer lenders to PayPal and bitcoin are smaller, more agile and quicker to respond to changing trends."

The document goes on to explain that these emerging forms of payments have "greater responsiveness to customer needs", attracting "affluent, intelligent and profitable customers".

 

The issue, KPMG says, is that banks are unable to respond to their customer's needs quickly. "Their legacy systems, data management, increased costs of regulatory controls and the increasing focus on remediation" hamper their response speed, it explains.

 

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Coinbase raises $75 million in largest-ever VC round for Bitcoin company

Coinbase has raised $75 million in Series C funding, in what is believed to be the largest-ever funding round for a Bitcoin-related company.

 

DFJ Growth led the round, and was joined by The New York Stock Exchange, USAA, BBVA (Spain), NTT Docomo (Japan), Valar Capital, Vikram Pandit, Tom Glocer and Carlos Rodriguez Pastor. Returning investors included Andreessen Horowitz, Reddit Capital and Union Square Ventures. No word on valuation, although an earlier Re/Code report suggested that the deal would value Coinbase at around $400 million.

 

"Our original goal at the beginning of October was basically to raise around $50 million at a reasonable valuation," says Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, who declined to elaborate on 'reasonable.'

 

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