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Bitcoin Processor Takes In Big VC Cash

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The Bitcoin payments processor that was created by former Visa and Cybersource people, Bitnet, has pulled in $14.5 million in funding, including from a new player on the digital currency scene: Rakuten.

The funding was led by Highland Capital Partners and included Japanese E-commerce behemoth Rakuten, Webb Investment Network, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp, Stephens Investment Management, Commerce Ventures and Buchanan Capital Management, reported Finextra. The story also noted that Highland’s Peter Cell now joins the Bitnet board.

Bitnet, which is focused almost entirely on the largest retail chains, sets up shop in both San Francisco and Belfast and was created by CEO John McDonnell and CTO Stephen Mc Namara, who both were senior executives at CyberSource, which was purchased by Visa for $2 billion in 2010.

“The pair brought more than two dozen Visa and CyberSource veterans with them to the new venture as they seek to disrupt the traditional payments landscape they were once part of,” the story reported. “McDonnell and Mc Namara argue that in a world with credit card transaction fees hitting merchants’ bottom lines and cross-border fees creating barriers to commerce, distributed trust systems like bitcoin have huge potential.”

Bitnet’s pitch is simple: promising retailers “guaranteed payment, instant global reach with no cross-border fees, no price volatility, and no fraud, risk or chargebacks, all for a transaction fee of under once per cent. The platform includes RESTful hypermedia APIs and SDKs, an easy-to-implement hosted Checkout product and prebuilt integrations to third party software systems. Advanced analytics with programmatic access to reports designed to help automate merchant reconciliation within accounting and ERP systems are also being promised,” the story said.

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