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Bitcoin Company Coinbase Raising New Investment at $400 Million Valuation

The new investment is expected to total $40 million to $60 million.

Coinbase, a company that lets people store and buy the digital currency bitcoin, is in the process of raising a giant new investment that will value it around $400 million, multiple sources told Re/code.

The company, which also works with businesses to let them accept bitcoin as a payment method, is expected to take in between $40 million and $60 million in the new investment, these people said. Venture capital firm DFJ is expected to be a new investor in this round, and most likely contribute the most funds.

Reps for Coinbase and DFJ declined to comment.

Coinbase, founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, has already raised more than $30 million, including a $25 million Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Union Square Ventures, Ribbit Capital and SV Angel have also invested in the San Francisco-based company.

It says its users have created two million bitcoin wallets through its service. Coinbase also counts Expedia, Dell, and Stripe among its business clients and customers. Coinbase makes money by charging a small fee to buy or sell bitcoins. It also charges merchants one percent after their first $1 million in bitcoin payments.

It’s been a wild year for bitcoin, which was created in 2009 by a person or group going by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. One bitcoin was trading at prices north of $1,100 a year ago, but today is worth $396 according to the Bitcoin Price Index published by Coindesk.

Along the way, the giant bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox went under, and regulators worldwide have increasingly shined a light on the currency and the software network through which each unit of bitcoin moves. New York State, for example, has published a draft of regulation that would require certain bitcoin companies to apply for what it calls a BitLicense. A final regulatory document should be released in early 2015. As the payment method of choice on internet black markets where weapons, drugs and stolen credit card information is hawked, bitcoin still carries a stigma that regulators cannot ignore.

Still, more and more venture capital investors seemed convinced that digital currency will play some role in the financial services industry of tomorrow. Some bitcoin proponents believe it has the potential to become an alternative store of value for people who live in parts of the world where local currencies suffer from extreme volatility. Others think the bitcoin network can someday challenge incumbents such as Western Union in the remittance industry, since each bitcoin transaction carries tiny fees. Those low fees are also one selling point for merchants to accept bitcoin as a payment method; bitcoin processors charge them much less than credit card processors do.

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