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Bitcoin entrepreneur moves into consumer product launch

In a big flurry of planned activity Circle Internet Financial has closed a $17m Series B funding round and has introduced its first consumer product, announced today on CoinDesk.

Las Vegas Casino Accepts Bitcoin Currency
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Jeremy Allaire, founder and chief executive of Circle Internet had not been looking for other investors since he began his start-up last fall but his Bitcoin company has been much sought after from the moneyed entrepreneurs to invest in his new company. Breyer Capital, Accel Partners and General Catalyst Partners bring his fund balance to $26 million today.

This morning, Circle announced a long waited realization of its early start-up of its payment products. This entry into the Bitcoin currency will allow Bitcoin fans and interested buyers to enable consumers for the first time to be able to deposit money into an account, which converts the money into Bitcoin and stores it off wallet.

It is available to anyone who wants to create an account online and access the digital assets through a mobile app and the consumer can spend their Bitcoin at merchants, retailers and restaurants who accept the digital currency or transfer to an online merchant for purchase of goods.

‘We’re trying to create a metaphor which relates to how people think about their money,’ Allaire said. The product, he explained, is a ‘really efficient, instantaneous and secure way to send and spend and receive money.’

This is what Allaire set out to do last fall when he opened Circlet Internet that it would catch on to not just the ‘alpha male geeks,’ as Jeremy Allaire describes his inaugural program.

'Unlike many first-generation Bitcoin companies, we’ve been extremely engaged and transparent with regulators about our commercial and product plans,' Allaire explained.

After the collapse of Mt. Gox last month, the Bitcoin world looked for solid exchanges and responsible leadership with financial and money management skills. Jeremy Allaire attracts the top level of investors in the world. Allaire sees three-to four responsible exchanges opening this year.

Barry Silbert, for one, is developing a new Bitcoin exchange which will be responsible and accountable in its financial reporting and Bitcoin offsite storage out of the online ‘hot ‘wallet’ of easy hacking. He is providing regulatory maintenance as times will demand. SecondMarket is providing its planned exchange as an offshoot from the Bitcoin Opportunity fund and Silbert has invested in this second round Circle Internet Series B fund.

Silbert’s start-up in Boston attracts prominent names as Leonard H. Schrank, a former chief executive of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, an industry-owned financial messaging system based in Brussels. He is one of the latest participants into the Silbert’s SecondMarket Opportunity Fund.

The original $9 million of funding last fall into Circle Internet was embraced by Jim Breyer through his Breyer Capital fund and added more in this second round. Oak Investment Partners, Pantera Capital which was recently in the news for starting Pantera Bitcoin fund and the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, which is run by Barry Silbert, founder and chief executive officer of SecondMarket and founder of the Bitcoin Investment Trust are all investors in this $17 million add on to the Circle Internet Financial company.

This week’s launch will be an invitation-only in order to cautiously and responsibly begin this consumer designed product.

To find more about Bitcoin view the articles listed below in Author’s suggestions and the video atop this article about the IRS treatment of Bitcoin.

Twitter: Victoria Wagner@victoriaross888

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