Azteco Raises $6 Million to Accelerate Bitcoin Adoption
Azteco has raised $6 million in funding, led by CEO Block Inc. Jack Dorsey, tour.
The Santa Monica, California-based company aims to accelerate Bitcoin adoption by offering Bitcoin gift cards.
Azteco’s Mission to Democratize Finance
Dorsey’s support of Azteco stems from a deep respect for the company’s mission of making life easier for unbanked populations around the world.
The former Twitter CEO believes the technology and resources needed to bring about this positive change are available, and Azteco is taking a decisive step in the right direction.
Azteco’s primary initiative centers around offering Bitcoin gift cards, designed to bring the value of the flagship cryptocurrency to the level of traditional fiat currencies like the US dollar.
The ultimate goal is to democratize finance and establish partnerships with companies around the world, ensuring that spending on Bitcoin becomes a mainstream and widely accepted concept, according to Azteco CEO Akin Fernandez.
Relying on a third party as the issuer of currency can lead to a single point of failure, he says, adding that centralized control of fiat currencies often leads to corruption.
Azteco’s solution is to replace this central control with computer software, allowing Bitcoin to operate as a global synthetic currency that is politically and financially neutral and accessible to people around the world.
Azteco’s reach extends to nearly 600,000 payment locations in approximately 200 countries. Fernandez emphasizes the significant impact this could have, especially in the United States, where nearly 4.5% of households were unbanked in 2021.
These households lacked access to e-commerce, making it difficult to purchase from online retailers such as Amazon, obtain bank loans, or participate in electronic money transfers.
Bitcoin can address these issues by providing around-the-clock global access to a seamless financial system with instant, fraud-free transactions.
Dorsey’s Continued Support for Bitcoin
This latest funding round led by Dorsey is not the first time he has committed to the cryptocurrency space.
In June, it allocated $5 million to support Bitcoin developers. Dorsey and his team plan to spread this amount over five years, providing $1 million annually to Bitcoin-related initiatives. This demonstrates Dorsey’s dedication to fostering innovation and development within the Bitcoin ecosystem.
In addition to funding Bitcoin development, Dorsey has also been actively involved in promoting Web3 talent development in Africa. He co-founded the Bitcoin non-profit organization Btrust alongside billionaire music mogul Jay-Z.
Recently, Btrust made a strategic move by acquiring Qala, a company focused on training African Bitcoin and Lightning engineers. This acquisition has led to the rebranding of Qala as the Btrust Builders Program, signifying a synergistic effort to advance Bitcoin development on the African continent.
The acquisition of Qala was driven by the recognition that although Btrust had the required financial resources, it lacked the infrastructure needed to effectively nurture and develop African Bitcoin talent.
This represents an important step in bridging the gap and enhancing the growth of Web3 expertise in Africa.