SA bitcoin startup Centbee raises funding from nChain

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South African startup Centbee, a bitcoin wallet provider that makes it easy for a global consumers to acquire, hold and spend bitcoin with retailers and other merchants, has raised funding from nChain Group, the leading blockchain research and development firm.

Centbee, founded by Lorien Gamaroff and Angus Brown, is releasing its wallet on the Apple and Google Play stores early this year.

The vision is to help users pay for goods and services using bitcoin, and enable the purchase of bitcoin over-the-counter at popular retailers.

“Centbee will be rolling out mechanisms for merchants to accept Bitcoin payments more cheaply and securely than current bank payment systems without exposure to price volatility. We will work closely with merchants in South Africa initially to solve local problems,” said Brown.

“In addition, we will help consumers move money simply and cheaply across borders to support family and friends. We have been working closely with regulators in the region to educate, ensure good governance and to address any regulatory risk.”

Gamaroff said nChain Group, which has funded the startup through its investment entity nChain Reaction, would bring more than just cash to the table.

“In addition to providing financial investment, nChain’s research, intellectual property and deep technology expertise will enable Centbee to become a powerful and secure wallet provider which will open up bitcoin merchant payments to a global market,” he said.

nChain Group chief executive officer (CEO) Jimmy Nguyen said Centbee has one of the most user-friendly bitcoin wallets and merchant payment solutions he had seen.  

“It smartly embraces bitcoin cash because its bigger blocks, low fees and fast transaction network represent the true vision of bitcoin. We look forward to supporting Centbee as it sparks greater merchant and consumer adoption of bitcoin cash in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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