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BitPay Raises Record $30 Million in Series A Funding, Biggest in Bitcoin Industry Yet The Atlanta Bitcoin payments pioneer closes a record-breaking funding round from billionaire Richard Branson, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, PayPal's Peter Thiel, Index Ventures and other all-star investors.

By Kim Lachance Shandrow

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

BitPay just hit the venture capital jackpot. The hot Atlanta-based Bitcoin payments startup hit is so big that it reportedly broke the record for the biggest financing round ever for a Bitcoin business.

The record $30 million Series A round -- led by Index Ventures with participation from A-List investors like billionaire Bitcoin backer Richard Branson, Yahoo co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang, PayPal founder Peter Thiel and a host of other tech industry heavy hitters -- boosts BitPay's valuation to $160 million.

The $30 million round broke Coinbase's record for the biggest-ever funding round by a Bitcoin firm. The San Francisco-based global Bitcoin exchange and digital currency wallet service raised $25 million last December.

Related: Outer Space: Bitcoin's Final Frontier?

BitPay had previously raised $2.7 million in angel and venture capital funding, including a contribution from Shakil Khan, the founder of Bitcoin news site CoinDesk and former head of special projects at Spotify. Other notable earlier BitPay investors include actor Ashton Kutcher, SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert and serial Bitcoin startup angel investor Roger Ver.

The pioneering Bitcoin transaction processor's CEO and co-founder Anthony Gallippi told Entrepreneur.com today that his company's historic funding round is "a great endorsement for the entire bitcoin community."

The funding will be used to enhance and scale its existing platform, further expand the company overseas and grow its workforce with the addition of 70 positions. Most of the new jobs, which will triple the company's staff in Atlanta, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires and San Francisco, will go to software developers, according to a statement BitPay released today.

Related: How Bitcoin Is Fueling a New Payments Battlefield

Also according to BitPay, the funding-fueled expansion will also see Gallippi transition to a new post as executive chairman and fellow BitPay co-founder Stephen Pair take over the role of CEO.

"Bitcoin is a borderless and frictionless payment system," Gallippi said, "which is nearing a tipping-point moment in terms of merchant adoption."

Gallippi said earlier this month that it will soon be the norm for consumers everywhere to pay for goods and services in the world's first peer-to-peer digital currency.

"In five years we expect Bitcoin to be widely accepted globally so that no matter where a person goes, bitcoin will be accepted alongside cash and credit cards," Gallippi said.

An estimated 75,000 merchants already accept Bitcoin payments worldwide and that number grows by the day. You can track the growth around the clock on CoinMap.

Related: Yelp Now Points User to Businesses That Accept Bitcoin as Payment

Founded in May 2011, BitPay now crunches $1 million in Bitcoin transactions every day across the world (50 percent in the U.S., 30 percent in Europe, and 20 percent throughout the rest of the world) for more than 30,000 merchants. Some of the big-name businesses BitPay processes Bitcoin payments for include Gyft, Shopify, TigerDirect, WordPress, and, yes, Branson's commercial space flight venture Virgin Galactic. BitPay's Mobile Checkout app enables retailers to accept payments in Bitcoins on their smartphones or tablets.

The company offers monthly pricing plans and charges no per transaction fees. Plans range from $30 to $300 per 30 days, depending on the scope of your support needs and the total amount of purchases processed per day.

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

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