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Seriously? Another Big Bank Gets Serious About The Blockchain

In the latest of a slew of financial institutions to embrace bitcoin, SAN InnoVentures, the investment and venture arm of the Santander Group, is putting $4 million into Ripple’s Series A round.

That investment brings the open ledger company’s Series A to $32 million as it seeks to bring new investors to the digital assets tracking world and brings total funding to more than $38 million.

[bctt tweet=”The Santander investment brings the open ledger company’s Series A to $32 million.”]

Bank Innovation reported that Santander is not among the baker’s dozen of banks that last week linked up with a consortium of lenders to discuss the blockchain and its place within the financial world — an event that came as Australia shuttered some exchanges. The debate over the virtual currency continues unabated. But the capital raised, as Bank Innovation reported, means that the lender is “doing something” rather than just studying the future.

At the time of the announcement of the Santander investment, Ripple also announced platforms for foreign and currency exchanges.

Separately, Bank Innovation noted that Ripple represents the first virtual currency company to be involved in a civil enforcement action. In that case, FInCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) fined the startup $700,000 for allegedly violating the Bank Secrecy Act.

The site also cautioned that the company does not tie itself to the blockchain monitor; rather, its technology is “considerably faster and more efficient” than the bitcoin blockchain. In fact the company was among the earliest proponents of moving bitcoin away from ledgers that tracked their use. According to comments made by Julio Faura, head of R&D and innovation at Santander, at a conference last month, Santander’s position is that distributed ledgers are of great interest to a distributed bank.

Upon news of the Santander investment, Mariano Belinky, managing partner of Santander InnoVentures, stated that the firm is “actively exploring where and how best to apply Ripple technology inside the bank. Ripple and Santander share a common vision of the future of the industry, and we intend to jointly advocate it in the community.”

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