In yet another sign of what is either a boom or a bubble in cryptocurrencies, bitcoin exchange Coinbase Inc. today said it has raised $100 million in new venture capital funding.
The Series D round was led by Institutional Ventures Partners and included Spark Capital, Greylock Partners, Battery Ventures, Section 32 and Draper Associates. The round was first rumored to be happening in June.
Founded in 2012, Coinbase offers an online platform that allows merchants, consumers and traders to transact with bitcoin. It includes a bitcoin wallet and the ability to buy and sell bitcoin along with a range of merchant payment processing systems and tools that allow sites to accept bitcoin as a payment method.
The round, which follows from a previous capital raise of $10.5 million in July 2016, is reported to confer a $1.6 billion valuation, breaking two records: the largest single round raised by a bitcoin exchange and the first bitcoin exchange to become a “unicorn,” a startup with a paper valuation in excess of $1 billion.
“Coinbase has experienced unprecedented growth over the last year, and we have now exchanged over $25 billion USD of digital currency for our customers,” a spokesperson for Coinbase told SiliconANGLE via email. “We’ll be using this new funding to further scale our organization.”
The money, clearly a substantial sum, will be used by Coinbase to expand its engineering and customer support teams, to open an office in New York City and to expand work on Toshi, a browser for the Ethereum cryptocurrency network.
Coinbase’s winning unicorn status is a sign of maturity for the bitcoin ecosystem as the price of the cryptocurrency continues to grow. Coinbase has been at the forefront of legitimate companies trading in the space, so the fact that it’s now its biggest company comes as no great surprise.