Google has made its first investment into a financial technology company and with it has given a big psychological boost to the cryptocurrency market.
Google Ventures, the investment arm of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has decided to pour $25 million into Currencycloud, a London-based cross-border payments provider.
Additional funding was raised from companies such as Notion Capital, Sapphire Ventures, Rakuten FinTech Fund, and Anthemis. But Google’s is perhaps the most noteworthy.
Currencycloud claims that it has sent $25 billion so far through its infrastructure to more than 200 countries.
The new funding from Google and others would “fuel the company’s continued growth and ongoing global expansion, as it reimagines the way money flows through today’s digital economy”, says the company, which uses flexible APIs to remove the friction and costs of traditional cross-border payments.
Mike Laven, CEO of Currencycloud, says: “In recent years we have seen the rise of the building block economy. Companies can combine services such as AWS, Google Maps, Stripe and Twilio to build innovative new businesses fast and without the overhead of expensive proprietary systems.
“Currencycloud provides a set of multi-currency payment and conversion tools that are helping hundreds of companies globalize fast. We are seeing massive and increasing demand for these services, with volumes growing over 150 per cent last year.”
Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are growing in both usage and variety. As well as bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies include:Cryptocurrencies receive major boost with Google’s entry into fintech market Click To Tweet
Most cyptocurrencies are based on the blockchain distributed ledger technology, a global trend or development which is making traditional banking institutions take more notice and research ways in which they can become involved.
Governments are also funding research projects to try and figure out what this alien technology is and what it will mean for the future of money, if not humanity itself.
There is the possibility that cryptocurrencies will disrupt the global financial market to the extent that they may undermine the power of banks and the governments which act as the guarantors of the value the money those banks hold.
But then, what’s probably more likely is that cryptocurrencies will simply expand the money supply by making money more widely available, to areas where money may not have been available to use in previous times.