Consumer bitcoin provider Azteco recently announced a $6 million seed funding round at an $84M valuation led by Jack Dorsey. This introduces bitcoin gift cards to enhance the cryptocurrency’s spending power to the level of the U.S. dollar.
Amid persistent inflationary pressures in the U.S., many investors are investing in digital assets as a hedge against the weakened dollar. At the same time, changing views on bitcoin are establishing it as a player in the American economy. Jack Dorsey commented: “My contribution to Azteco comes out of a deep respect for their mission. The unbanked population is immense.”
Azteco’s bitcoin gift cards bridge geographical boundaries in the retail industry, providing in-person storefronts and e-commerce platforms around the globe. It democratizes access to financial services and reshapes consumer-retailer interactions in an increasingly interconnected digital economy. Akin Fernandez, Azteco’s CEO and founder, said: “We have the technology and resources to close this gap, but until now, no one has taken that important next step. 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.”
The U.S. economy has been mired in inflation and a devalued currency, leading to a banking crisis and raised interest in not only material wealth like gold and silver, but in digital assets like cryptocurrency. Central banks and the Fed are discussing the implementation of a digital dollar, while BlackRock filed for a bitcoin ETF with the SEC in June.
Fernandez further states that, “The fundamental problem with the U.S. dollar is that its supply is controlled by a small committee of private bankers focused solely on the shareholders’ interests. America’s Constitution considers only gold and silver money, which was arguably done deliberately to remove the inevitable corruption that follows when people are in control of the money supply. Bitcoin solves this problem by replacing a committee of men with an infallible computer program.”
Azteco already has over 590,000 payment locations in more than 190 countries and is facilitating development. It gives people with no access to eCommerce, such as the estimated 4.5% of unbanked households in the U.S., “around-the-clock global access to a frictionless financial rail using instant transactions that are guaranteed free of payer fraud”, as Fernandez puts it.
The move to bitcoin will enhance the U.S. economy as it was at its most prosperous when on the gold standard and the money supply was strictly constrained. Strong economies are built on saving, not spending. As a result, the country that becomes the center of this new financial system will be raking in taxes from two billion people.