Since the revolutionary cryptocurrency Bitcoin was introduced, the new currency has seen its fair share of ups and downs. However, a recent investment from the richest man in Asia may be just what the currency needs to propel it into worldwide acceptance.
Li Ka-shing, the wealthiest man in Asia with an estimated net worth of $31 billion, has recently invested in BitPay, a relatively small startup engaged in providing Bitcoin payment services. BitPay has long been gunning to establish itself as the largest payment service for people who use virtual currencies such as BitCoin. With the recent injection of funds from Li Ka-shing, the Atlanta-based startup may yet establish themselves as an entity akin to PayPal, if virtual currencies gain widespread acceptance in the coming years.
According to a recent announcement from BitPay, the company has already handled over $100 million worth of transactions in 2013 alone. This may be indicative of the company's potential in the near future. In addition to this, BitPay also reported that they now handle over 15,500 active merchant accounts.
Ka-shing finalized his investment with the help of Horizons Ventures, a venture capital company which made waves with its investments in well known companies like Skype, Waze and Facebook. The company is also known for spotting potential growth in burgeoning startups early on.
Ka-shing will now joing the likes of Ben Davenport, Jimmy Furland and Shakil Khan who have also invested a lot of money into BitPay. According to a spokeswoman from BitPay, these investors have already put in approximately $2.7 million into the company. While it is clear that Ka-shing has already invested in BitPay, no details regarding the exact amount that was invested into the company have been released as of yet.
Bitcoin has seen growing interest in countries like the U.S. In spite of warnings regarding the risks involved in cryptocurrencies, certain government officials such as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have stated that Bitcoin shows a lot of promise as an alternative currency.
While BitCoin is still in its relative infancy as an alternative currency, growing interest from both investors and companies around the world can be seen as proof of the currency's potential growth.