Twitter Co-founder Dorsey Leads $6M Investment in Bitcoin Voucher Service
Jack Dorsey has led a $6 million funding round for Azteco, a provider of bitcoin (BTC) vouchers, highlighting the Twitter co-founder and Block CEO’s continued commitment to driving advancements in the cryptocurrency landscape.
Azteco, established in 2014, says it uncovered a significant disparity in global banking access, with over 2 billion smartphone users lacking regular financial services.
To address this, Azteco says it devised a practical solution by harnessing the potential of bitcoin as a cost-effective and secure alternative. Through its technology, the company says it enables the unbanked population to store value, engage in transactions and access credit without requiring a traditional bank account.
Azteco likes to refer to its vendor sites as “ATM-less ATMs.”
The company claims to make buying bitcoin as easy as purchasing mobile phone credits. Here’s how it works: You can visit an Azteco outlet with cash or a credit card. At the outlet, you can buy an Azteco voucher. You then go to their website and redeem your voucher.
During the redemption process, you must provide the bitcoin address where you want the bitcoin to be sent. Azteco takes care of the rest, ensuring your bitcoin is delivered to the specified address.
Having initially launched as a test site in Shoreditch, East London, Azteco quickly expanded its reach. Today, the availability of Azteco vouchers extends to an extensive network of retail locations spanning 195 countries.
Notably, Azteco stated in 2019, it did not require Know Your Customer verification checks, simplifing the process for users seeking to enter the world of digital currencies. Blockworks has reached out to the firm for comment on whether this remains the case.
Dorsey said a profound admiration for their mission drove his contribution to Azteco.
“The unbanked population is immense. We have the technology and resources to close this gap, but until now, no one has taken that important next step,” Dorsey said in a statement on May 18.
“Azteco is providing so much more than just access to a secure financial system; it is building an ecosystem of financial self-determination that is secure and supported by local communities. I am honored to support them,” he said.
Azteco’s co-founder Paul Ferguson said the funding received will serve as a catalyst for the company’s market activation and product refinement endeavors. This boost will empower Azteco to effectively reach and engage with consumers with a particular focus on Latin America and Europe, amplifying their impact in the industry, he said.
Other investors in the round included Lightning Ventures, Hivemind Ventures, Ride Wave Ventures, ALeka Capital and Visary Capital.
Dorsey, known for his active involvement in the crypto realm, continues to make waves in the industry. His payments firm, Block, recently made headlines by embarking on a mission to revolutionize the bitcoin mining landscape.
By developing its own specialized silicon for mining hardware, Block aims to disrupt the status quo and bring forth innovative advancements to cryptocurrency mining.
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