Bitcoin Venture Investments Reach $100 Million
Bitcoin startups in North America have received $98.6 million in venture-capital investments to date, a new report from researcher Aite Group LLC shows.
The investors have funded 19 Bitcoin startups, compared with nine in Asia totaling $13.3 million and three in Europe for a combined $5.6 million, according to the report by Boston-based Aite, which surveyed merchants, banks, regulators and Bitcoin companies.
Aite is the latest to examine the growth of Bitcoin, a virtual currency that has drawn the attention of technologists, investors and governments. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts said in a report last week that Bitcoin may have a future as an innovative payments technology instead of gaining wider use as a true alternative currency. Bitcoin’s underlying technology could also enable new methods for payments and e-commerce.
“A lot of kinks need to be worked out before this utopian promise can be realized, however; the nascent Bitcoin ecosystem is truly akin to the wild, Wild West,” Julie Conroy, an analyst at Aite, wrote in the report titled, “Bitcoin: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”
Many technical issues need to be worked out prior to mass adoption, Aite said. The Bitcoin network needs to process more transactions faster, and to be more transparent so as to allay regulatory concerns, the researcher said.