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Bitcoin And Blockchain-Related Startups Attract Huge Investments In 2015

The year 2015 has been quite fruitful for bitcoin, particularly as several leading companies and banks opened up to the cryptocurrency space.

In a report published on CNN Money in November, Jose Pagliery estimated that around $1 billion had been invested into Bitcoin-related tech startups. However, he noted that banks are investing in the blockchain technology that powers Bitcoin, rather than the currency itself.

In June, reports surfaced that Barclays will be working with Bitcoin tech company Safello to explore blockchain technology and how it can be used to transform traditional banking practices. Wall Street giants such as Visa, Nasdaq and Citi Ventures have invested $30 million in Chain.Com, a San Francisco-based blockchain developer platform that works with financial institutions to develop ways to trade and transfer financial assets using blockchain technology. 

Recently, Nasdaq announced that its Nasdaq Linq blockchain ledger technology has been successfully used to settle shares of Chain.com.

Paglier also said that with rising interest in blockchain technology, companies are even experimenting with creating smaller, "private blockchains" inside their own offices.

However, it would not be entirely true that leading companies and global financial institutions are only investing in the blockchain technology. Several bitcoin-based startups have garnered support from tech giants last year. Here are few examples:

  • Coinbase, a bitcoin wallet and exchange company, raised $75m as part of a Series C funding round which closed last January, backed by New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Fortune 500 financial services group USAA, Spanish megabank BBVA and Japanese telcom giant DoCoMo.
  • In April, Circle Internet Financial, a bitcoin financial services startup raised $50 million in a funding round that drew support from Goldman Sachs.
  • In October, reports suggested that a new Digital Currency Group (DCG) funding round received support from MasterCard, Canadian Bank CIBC, New York Life, TransAmerica Ventures and many others.

“Blockchain technology has many uses for all types of industries but without Bitcoin it wouldn't exist. The security of the Bitcoin blockchain is unrivaled by other blockchains and is dependent on a decentralized digital currency to give it value. If alternative blockchains are to succeed, they would do well to adopt the principles of decentralization that Bitcoin is based on”, M.K. Lords, Marketing/Community Manager of Airbitz, told EconoTimes.

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