Bitfinance raises more funding
Zimbabwean bitcoin startup BitFinance this month raised additional funding from a local angel investor. BitFinance, which was founded in December 2014 raised an undisclosed amount from Taurai Chinyamakobvu, which will go towards its program to scale up and enhance the user experience of it’s platform, BitcoinFundi.
Led by co-founders Tawanda Kembo and Verengai Mabika, BitFinance was in also 2015 accepted into Savannah Fund’s 4th accelerator class in Kenya, where they received their first round of funding.
“We are very excited about this development. It is very difficult for start-ups in Zimbabwe to raise funding. This is obviously a vote of confidence in the future of our ideas and this will help us scale up our service and vision”, said Tawanda Kembo, BitFinance’s co-founder. “The start-up eco-system in Zimbabwe is not very developed. This fundraising initiative is a step in the right direction, and we are very encouraged by this investment”, he added.
On his part, Chinyamakobvu thinks that its high time Zimbabwe must move towards building capacity, not just for start-ups, but investing in the block-chain technology, which anchors Bitcoin.
“I am motivated by, not just the passion of the co-founders of BitFinance, but also the fact that Zimbabwe needs to be on the cutting edge of innovations around blockchain technology. The future of financial services innovations globally may revolve around blockchain technology. A 2016 outlook report by Deloitte lists bitcoin’s blockchain as one of the key disruptive forces for the financial services industry. Goldman Sachs has acknowledged in a report that Bitcoin is the ideal vehicle for public transactions and settlements between individuals who don’t know each other. This is why big banks such as Goldman Sachs and Barclays are investing in blockchain. In Japan, which has moved fast to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, major financial institutions like Mizuho Financial Group, Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., have formed the Blockchain Study Group, which has developed a trial solution on blockchain interbank payments. We must also be at the forefront of those innovations and BitFinance has the skills and passion to blaze this trail not just in Zimbabwe, but Africa as well”, he said.
BitFinance’s product, BitcoinFundi, is a bitcoin exchange. This is an online platform which third-party subscribers use to hold and trade bitcoin with other subscribers. Bitcoin is the world’s largest and most traded digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds. Bitcoins are created and held electronically. They are not printed, like dollars or euros. Rather they are generated by the bitcoin protocol using software and mathematical algorithms, which is why they are generally known as cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was the world’s first cryptocurrency and is the world’s largest at present. It is generally accepted as a means of payment globally. Today, the total market capitalisation for Bitcoin in the world is currently over $12.5 billion.
Bitcoin is anchored on blockchain technology. Blockchain refers to a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of ordered records commonly known as blocks. Each block is timestamped and linked to a previous block. They are designed repel any data modifications, which means that once recorded, the data in a block cannot be altered retroactively.