A US bitcoin company is launching a consumer service across a large part of the eurozone in a bid to bring the cyber-currency into the mainstream.
Coinbase, which has raised US$35 million from Andreessen Horowitz and other venture capitalists, has linked its virtual wallet service to the euro payments system.
This makes it possible for users to send money to and from a bitcoin account more easily in 14 of the 18 eurozone countries, the Financial Times reported, citing the group’s co-founder Fred Ehrsam.
The company has forged an alliance with a European bank, which in turn is linked to Sepa, the system for settling euro payments between banks, the report said.
Ehrsam declined to identify the bank, saying he did not want competitors to use the same institution to offer copycat services.
Most banks have shied away from transactions involving the online currency, whose reputation has been tarnished by the collapse earlier this year of bitcoin exchange Mt Gox.
But bitcoin has become more stable in recent months, according to the newspaper.
From Thursday, the Coinbase service will be available in most of the eurozone, including France, Spain and Italy, the report said.
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