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Bitcoin themed balloons float in the air during the "Inside Bitcoins: The Future of Virtual Currency Conference" in New York
Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Losing altitude.

Meet the company that wants to bring bitcoin to the stock market

Bitcoins could be coming to an stock exchange near you.

Bitcoin-mining company BitFury Group is hoping to become the first bitcoin-related company listed on a major exchange as early as next year, reports bitcoin newsletter Crypto Crimson. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency startup has managed to raise some $20 million in venture-capital funding from those willing to bet that the firm can distinguish itself from the pageant of entrepreneurs hitching their wagons to the risky crypto-currency’s future.

BitFury completed its venture round last month, luring notable investors including Bill Tai and Jonathan Teo, who were early Twitter backers. BitFury’s CEO, Valery Vavilov, said he wants to take the firm public, according to Crypto Crimson: “The success of this funding round validates our strategy and brings us closer to our aspiration of becoming the world’s first publicly listed Bitcoin company.”

Of course, there’s no guarantee that BitFury will launch an IPO or will be successful if it does. However, the idea that prominent investors are putting real money behind such digital currency companies is a vote of confidence in bitcoin after the disaster of Mt Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, the collapse of which earlier this year led to the loss of nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of bitcoin. Lately other payment companies like PayPal have also been taking a greater interest; PayPal’s CEO said in April that the company is “thinking about” including bitcoin as a payment type.

Of course, there are many alternatives to bitcoin, and new ones are constantly appearing. All of them use peer-to-peer payment networks that aim to take traditional banks and payment systems out of the picture. So far, though, none has proven itself to be a stable currency for doing business in, as opposed to a speculative investment that can go horribly wrong.

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