January 28 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Coinbase launches first regulated US Bitcoin exchange

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After $75mn funding boost, Bitcoin services provider Coinbase has opened the first regulated US Bitcoin exchange.

Coinbase has opened the first-ever licensed US exchange for Bitcoin not long after netting around $75 million in funding. The company hopes to make the controversial cryptocurrency more official with the new exchange as it adds the US to its growing list of countries that offer these services.

The value of Bitcoin jumped on the news by around 20 per cent, briefly breaking above the $300 barrier versus the US dollar. However, since then the price has settled closer to the $250 level.

 

Investors include NYSE and USAA

So far the exchange has been approved by regulators in 24 jurisdictions, about half of all states, that includes the likes of California and New York. In fact, the New York Department of Financial Services has been calling for further control when it proposed a round of regulations named ‘BitLicense’ in July 2014. It seems that Coinbase’s legitimacy is growing as the latest round of funding includes notable investors such as the New York Stock Exchange and the USAA.

Coinbase has plans to use its huge funding boost to expand its reach to at least 30 countries by the end of 2015, according to the CEO, Brian Armstrong, who also plans to explore the potential of emerging markets.

 

Bitcoin’s legitimacy grows

Bitcoin is a digital currency that was made famous for its use on the underground markets, due to its ability to be used in transactions anonymously. It further made headlines in 2013 when the value skyrocketed over $1,000 per Bitcoin. However, since then, the value has dropped to lows of around $185.

Several major retailing names began to accept Bitcoin as payment for the first time in 2014 and we may see many more retailers take up the trend. It seems that Bitcoin’s reputation as a financing tool for nefarious activities will continue to diminish as it begins to accrue further licences and approval, meaning we’re not far from the days when it will become widely accepted as a legitimate currency.

Hari Sri

Hari is the LSBF Blog's News Editor. He manages the editorial content on the blog and writes about current affairs, SME, entrepreneurship, energy, education and emerging market news.

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