Azteco raised $6 million in funding, with Block Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey leading the round.
The Santa Monica, California-based company aims to accelerate Bitcoin adoption by introducing Bitcoin gift cards.
Azteco’s mission to democratize finance
Dorsey’s support for Azteco stems from a deep respect for the company’s mission to make life easier for the unbanked population worldwide.
The former Twitter CEO believes that the technology and resources required to make this positive change are available, and Azteco is taking a crucial step in the right direction.
Azteco’s core initiative revolves around introducing Bitcoin gift cards, designed to elevate the flagship crypto’s value to the level of traditional fiat currencies like the US dollar.
The ultimate goal is to democratize finance and establish partnerships with companies across the globe, ensuring that Bitcoin spending becomes a mainstream and widely accepted concept, according to Azteco CEO Akin Fernandez.
Relying on a third party as the currency issuer can lead to a single point of failure, he says, adding that centralized control of fiat currencies often results in corruption.
Azteco’s solution is to replace this centralized control with a computer program, allowing Bitcoin to operate as a politically and financially neutral global synthetic currency accessible to people worldwide.
Azteco’s reach extends to nearly 600,000 payment locations in about 200 countries. Fernandez emphasizes the significant impact this could have, particularly in the United States, where approximately 4.5% of households were unbanked in 2021.
These households lacked access to e-commerce, making it challenging to buy from online retailers like Amazon, obtain bank loans, or engage 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 recent funding round led by Dorsey is not the first instance of his commitment to the cryptocurrency space.
In June, he committed $5 million to back Bitcoin developers. Dorsey and his team plan to distribute this sum over five years, providing $1 million yearly to Bitcoin-linked initiatives. This shows Dorsey’s dedication to fostering innovation and development within the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Beyond funding Bitcoin development, Dorsey has also been actively involved in promoting Africa’s Web3 talent development. 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 while Btrust possessed the financial resources required, it lacked the infrastructure to nurture and develop the African Bitcoin talent pipeline effectively.
This move represents a significant step in bridging the gap and promoting the growth of Web3 expertise in Africa.