Circle Raises $9 Million To Help Bitcoins Go Mainstream

Circle Internet Financial has raised $9 million in Series A funding. The company hopes to take digital currencies like Bitcoin and turn them into mainstream currency options. The company plans to develop Bitcoins into a mainstream product by developing a Bitcoin payment platform for consumers and merchants. The series A round was funded by Jim Breyer, Accel Partners, and General Catalyst Partners.

The company is helmed by Brightcove founder Jeremy Allaire. Brightcove took its online video platform public in 2012.

While Bitcoins have been associated with drug purchases and other online illegal activities, it is still of interest to businesses because of its lower transaction costs, better security and privacy, and electronic payment methods.

Circle plans to use part of its $9 million in funding to build a secure platform with a focus on consumer privacy. The company also says businesses and charities will receive tools and services that can accept the digital currency with no transaction fees.

Circle is not the only Bitcoin platform benefiting from Series A funding, Coinbase raised $5 million from Union Square Ventures and BitPay turned in $2.5 million to date from various angel investors and Founders Fund.

I recently reported on the first bar to accept Bitcoins for beer. That bar uses a Bitcoin enabled point-of-sale (POS) system. The company behind the platform focuses on the hospitality and services industries.

Joining the company’s board of directors at Circle is Jim Bryer, a partner at Accel Partners, and David Orfao of General Catalyst Partners. Speaking of the company’s future, Bryer says, “The dramatic global growth in mobile, social and online commerce is creating the need and potential for a real global digital currency. With Jeremy’s vision for Circle and track record as an Internet pioneer, the opportunity here is to potentially build a significant global company.”

Do you see a bright future ahead for Circle Internet Financial and other digital currency providers?