Spanish Bank Bankinter has made history in becoming one of the first banks in the world to invest directly in a Bitcoin business, in this case in domestic decentralized exchange Coinffeine.

Bankinter announced the move in a note issued Monday morning, Spanish news portal El Economista reports. In doing so, the corporation becomes one of the first banks in the world to invest directly in a Bitcoin startup.

Coinffeine confirmed the news on Twitter earlier Monday:

The investment itself is the ninth in a series in the Entrepreneurship Program of Bankinter’s venture capital firm, the Bankinter Foundation of Innovation, a scheme set up to fund technologically innovative startups in the space.

“Bankinter's strategy with this move is being able to assess becoming one of Coinffeine's main customers in future,” El Economista summarizes.

Coinffeine, as Cointelegraph reported back in May, is in itself developing new ground within the cryptocurrency exchange sphere by attempting to facilitate P2P transactions without the need of a centralized exchange transaction handler.

Bankinter is reported to have drawn particular attention to the technological breakthrough Coinffeine has achieved. “The software of this company can eliminate the middleman in exchange bitcoins through a mathematical model based on game theory that eliminates the incentive that can have a party to defraud another,” El Economista notes.

Until now, the European stage has seen hardly any such activity. Earlier this year, Danish startup Coinify benefited from financing by SEED Capital, including funds partly subsidized by the Danish government. However, direct bank involvement in the Bitcoin space in this capacity has otherwise been practically unheard of.

The news has already been greeted positively by the Bitcoin community, with Reddit spawning a rapidly growing thread in praise of the decision.

Bankinter is meanwhile expanding its Bitcoin activities following the deal, holding a conference entitled ‘The Future of Currencies’ in Madrid on November 20.


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