Block26, a new venture capital firm with eyes on the “block chain market,” has made its first selection, leading an expected 1.25 million dollar seed funding round for the San Diego-based Airbitz mobile Bitcoin wallet.
Readers may be familiar with the wallet, which won first place in the start up competition earlier this year in New York City at the Inside Bitcoins Conference.
The primary novelty of Airbitz, besides ease of use, is its integration of a Bitcoin merchant directory, allowing the mobile user to locate a place to spend bitcoins within the same application. Aside from that, the company utilizes a decentralized infrastructure to guarantee that its simplified payment verification is accessible to users even when company servers have failed.
CEO Paul Puey said in a prepared statement:
Airbitz is tremendously honored to have Block26 as our partner and lead investor. Their core focus on bitcoin, blockchain, and decentralized technologies is perfectly inline with the DNA of Airbitz founders. Block26 brings incredible experience in building highly tuned team dynamics and they see the value in people, companies, and industries that aren’t afraid to disrupt the status quo. We look forward to building a decentralized world with their passion and support at our side.
In the below video, Puey explains why he believes that mobile payments can never be the same after Bitcoin, saying, at one point:
The most successful forms of payment have an aspect of decentralization. Maybe not the currency, because obviously, with paper money, that’s centralized. But the payment mechanism is. […] The most successful payment methods never had to go through a third-party to make the payment.
Images from Shutterstock and Airbitz.