Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Coinsetter Inc., a Bitcoin trading platform, filed to raise $1.5 million as venture capitalists flock to companies tied to the digital currency.
The fundraising plans were disclosed in a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Jaron Lukasiewicz, Coinsetter’s chief executive officer, said in an e-mail that while the company only plans to raise $1 million, he wanted the option to bring in more and said there are “commitments on the majority of it.”
Venture investors have been seeking out Bitcoin-related companies amid a surge in the value of the currency. Coinbase Inc., a provider of online Bitcoin accounts, raised $25 million earlier this month in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, while Gliph Inc. and BitPay Inc. have reeled in financing from other investors.
Coinsetter, based in New York, said on its website that it’s “dedicated to making Bitcoin safe and easy to use for all.” The service, which is currently open only to friends and family, aggregates Bitcoin prices from multiple exchanges, offers charting tools for market analysis and provides a trading system.
Coinsetter previously raised $500,000 in April from investors including SecondMarket Inc. CEO Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Opportunity Fund.
Bitcoins, introduced in 2008, topped $1,000 earlier this year, up from about $12 a year ago, and have since fallen to $716.12, according to Bitstamp, an exchange where the digital money is traded for dollars and other currencies. The virtual currency isn’t controlled by any government or central bank and exists as software that can be used to pay for everything from candy to consulting services online.
In August, Coinsetter was one of 22 digital-currency companies subpoenaed by New York’s top banking regulator to determine whether new regulations should be adopted for governing the emerging industry, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time.
The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has said that Bitcoin businesses may be considered money transmitters for the purpose of complying with anti-money laundering laws. State agencies typically license such businesses.
--With assistance from Olga Kharif in Portland and Carter Dougherty in Washington. Editors: Reed Stevenson, John Lear