This virtual currency thing just got another piece of validation: in the wake of Bitcoin’s spectacular rise, fall and wary stabilization, Google(s goog) Ventures has decided to invest in OpenCoin, the company behind the Ripple distributed currency exchange.
(Quick note: We’ll be hosting some Bitcoin experts at the San Jose Tech Museum on Thursday, May 16, from 6-9pm, so be there if you’re into this stuff.)
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 Venture Partners, Vast Ventures and Bitcoin…
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