Dublin-based bitcoin company Circle raises $17 million

Firm hopes to reduce much of the friction and risk currently associated with bitcoin

Bitcoin company Circle Internet Financial has closed $17 million in Series B financing, bringing the total funding it has raised to date to $26 million.

The company, which has its international headquarters in Dublin, also announced the debut of its initial consumer product in limited release.

The product aims to help consumers to use digital currency easily, reducing much of the friction and risk that is currently associated with bitcoin.

"We are thrilled to have such a strong showing of support and vote of confidence from world-class investors and strategic individuals as we move into the commercial phase of Circle," said Circle founder and chief executive Jeremy Allaire.

“With accelerating consumer and business interest in digital currency all around the world, it’s critical that we have the capital and leadership team to execute on our vision for consumer finance and global payments built on Bitcoin,” he added.

Breyer Capital, Accel Partners and General Catalyst Partners were joined by new investor Oak Investment Partners in the Series B funding round.

Breyer Capital CEO Jim Breyer said the global transformation in payments made possible by Bitcoin and digital currency is "one of the most significant investment opportunities in the past 30 years".