Goldman Sachs has added millions of dollars, and potentially more significant, a dose of Wall Street legitimacy to the bitcoin community. Goldman is one of two lead investors in a $50 million funding round for bitcoin brokerage startup Circle Internet Financial.
Goldman is the latest Wall Street institution to dabble in bitcoin, more so for the promise of the digital-currency technology behind it — versus the prospect of its actual value which has fluctuated widely over the past two years.
Bitcoin, the first widely mined and used cryptocurrency, is seen has facilitating faster and cheaper financial transactions for businesses and consumers.
The Boston-based company Circle, which processes digital transactions, drew support from Goldman and China-based IDG Capital Partners, and from Circle’s existing investors, including Breyer Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Accel Partners. Circle allows customers to hold, transfer and receive the digital currency.
The new $50 million injection comes on top of $26 million in prior financing rounds for Circle. According to media reports, Circle is valued at about $200 million.
Tom Jessop, managing director at Goldman Sachs’ Principal Strategic Investments Group, said in a statement that the bank recognizes the need to invest in companies that “have the promise to transform global markets through technical innovation.”
Quan Zhou, managing director of IDG Capital Partners and Circle board member, said that China will be a major focus for the company.
“We are very excited about our investment and look forward to helping launch the company in the Chinese market where consumer adoption of innovative digital payment products is growing at a tremendous rate,” Zhou told CoinDesk.