Google Ventures invests in OpenCoin, the firm behind Bitcoin exchange Ripple



by David Meyer (courtesy gigaom)

Ripple is a distributed exchange that can be used for Bitcoin and other currencies, too. Google Ventures and IDG’s investment is the latest in a recent string for firms handling virtual currencies.

This virtual currency thing just got another piece of validation: in the wake of Bitcoin’s spectacular rise, fall and wary stabilization, Google Ventures has decided to invest in OpenCoin, the company behind the Ripple distributed currency exchange.

Ripple, billed as “the world’s first open payment network”, may lack the rebel allure of Bitcoin itself, but its distributed model could patch one of Bitcoin’s chief weaknesses, namely its reliance on a few sometimes less-than-transparent exchanges. Of course, Ripple will be usable for the exchange of other currencies, too, and it arguably sits alongside other new financial technology startups such as Transferwise.

In April, OpenCoin received investments from Andreessen Horowitz, FF Angel IV, Lightspeed…

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