Bitcoin wallet provider Xapo, which is also known for its secure vault storage, announced today an additional Series A funding raise of $20 million dollars. This doubles the amount they raised earlier this year, bringing their funding total to an industry-record of $40 million, at a company valuation just over $100 million. This recent funding round was led by Greylock Partners and Index Ventures, with backers Emergence Capital Partners, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, and Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner. In the company blog announcement, CEO Wences Casares says he is “very optimistic about what this represents, not only for Xapo, but also for the bitcoin ecosystem as a whole.”
Bitcoin exchange itBit is relocating its headquarters from Singapore to New York, a state which has proven to be bitcoin trading friendly and has recently been abuzz with news of companies racing to become the first regulated US bitcoin exchange. The company has also tapped Charles Cascarilla, a founding partner of its backer Liberty City Ventures, as its new CEO, replacing Rich Teo who will remain in Singapore to oversee the office there. In the company blog post, Cascarilla explains that “The majority of bitcoin trading now takes place in the U.S. Regulators are getting clearer about their policies and we’re hopeful that we will be able to serve U.S. investors soon.”
South Korean payment gateway giant Galaxia Communications announced on Monday that it has partnered with payments processor Coinplug to add Bitcoin as a payment method for its over 10,000 customers in South Korea and around the world. As one of the country’s top three online payment companies, as well as the country’s top seller for mobile gift cards and coupons, this will be a significant move forward for Bitcoin in South Korea.
Leading pre-owned car online marketplace Beepi had partnered with BitPay to become the first peer-to-peer platform to allow customers to purchase cars with bitcoin, furthering the company’s goal of eliminating friction with the car buying and selling process. As CEO Ale Resnik says, “The $300 billion used car marketplace has experienced little to no innovation in decades and we’re excited to lead this change… Integrating with bitcoin is a natural extension of our promise to deliver the easiest way to purchase a car in the 21st century.”
Sky News reported Monday that a blog allegedly associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (also known as ISIS) has written a post called “Bitcoin and the Charity of Violent Physical Struggle” highlighting the benefits of Bitcoin’s anonymity for the funding of jihad terrorists. However, the validity of this blog post has since been called into question, and it is not yet known whether this was a sincere call to action from jihad extremists, or just a hoax intended to paint Bitcoin in a negative light.
Bitcoin startup GogoCoin is celebrating the official launch of its first physical Bitcoin gift cards today at the Cups And Cakes Bakery in San Francisco, thanks to a recent partnership with Blockchain.info. Customers can now purchase gift cards at the Bakery that can be pre-loaded with anywhere from $25 to $500 dollars worth of Bitcoin, which can be redeemed anytime and deposited into a new Blockchain wallet.
Join us at the Bitcoin Beginners Fair tonight at 20Mission in San Francisco to learn more about this emerging digital currency. Get your ticket at BitcoinBeginnersFair.com, and we hope to see you there. If you’re not able to join us tonight, you can still learn more about Bitcoin with our new series of educational video clips, which we’ll be bringing to you on a regular basis.