(New York Times) Silicon Valley is ramping up its real money bets on the virtual money Bitcoin.

Andreessen Horowitz, a leading venture capital firm, announced on Thursday that it had led a $25 million fund-raising round for Coinbase, a Bitcoin start-up in San Francisco that aims to help virtual currencies gain mainstream acceptance.

Chris Dixon, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz who will join Coinbase’s board, said on Thursday that “it’s hard to overstate the excitement of a certain segment of the technology community.”

“Every day somebody comes in and says, ‘Bitcoin is going to be as big as the Internet,’ ” Mr. Dixon said.

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