Bankinter invests in bitcoin startup; Wedbush pump-primes Buttercoin

Bankinter invests in bitcoin startup; Wedbush pump-primes Buttercoin

The venture capital arm of Spanish bank Bankinter has invested in a bitcoin startup that is developing an application for P2P transfer of fiat money to bitcoin - and vice versa - through consumer bank accounts.

Funded last June by four Spanish engineers, Coinffeine is developing a system that promises to combine a distributed exchange with existing financial infrastructure. The desktop application, described by the company as ‘like Bittorrent for your bitcoins’, will be launched the next January.

"The big innovation here is the Coinffeine protocol, a mathematical model based on Game Theory," says the company in a statement. "This protocol ensures the safety in the Fiat-Bitcoin exchange without a trusted third party and in a automatically way, offering the same experience as a traditional exchange thought the transactions are really P2P."

Bankinter has not revealed the value of its investment, but its Innovation Foundation arm has a track record of plying anywhere between EUR25,000 and EUR200,000 in startup businesses. The funding usually comes with a caveat that the bank can adopt the finished product in early adopter mode.

"In the case of Coinffeine, they are working on finding the best collaboration framework to make it happen," says the company.

Continuing the theme of funding for bitcoin from the traditional financial sector, Wedbush Securities says is has made an undisclosed investment in bitcoin marketplace Buttercoin and is utilising the platform's technology and capabilities.

"We are impressed with Buttercoin in many regards notably that it provides reliable, trustworthy and excellent trade execution, and most importantly that it has a US banking relationship" says Sheri Kaiserman, head of equities, Wedbush Securities. "We see cryptocurrency technology as disruptive to the financial services industry as the internet was to communications."

Wedbush was recognised as a pioneer in the crypto-currency space earlier this year when it became the first financial institution to publish on Bitcoin and surrounding cryptocurrency technology topics and began accepting Bitcoin payments for this research.

By joining with Buttercoin, the firm says it looks forward to expanding its presence in digital currency and broadening its capabilities within the Bitcoin marketplace.

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