• Jack Dorsey said Azteco was closing the gap for the unbanked population
  • Users can purchase Bitcoin using Azteco vouchers, which are available in 195 countries
  • Azteco aims to come up with a process for purchasing Bitcoin without account-creation

Block CEO Jack Dorsey has led a $6 million seed funding round for Azteco as the Bitcoin payments startup seeks to target unbanked citizens.

"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," Dorsey said about the startup, as per a Thursday press release.

"The unbanked population is immense. We have the technology and resources to close this gap, but until now, no one has taken that important next step," Dorsey said.

The former Twitter CEO said he was "honored" to support Azteco in its bid to help unbanked individuals through its unique process of allowing them to purchase Bitcoin worldwide by exchanging their Azteco vouchers for the digital asset.

Dorsey, known as a huge Bitcoin supporter, said last year that Bitcoin would help push Block's "enter business to move faster globally" as the leading cryptocurrency was the "open standard for global money transmission."

With Azteco, users don't need to go through an exchange to purchase Bitcoin using their native currency, which paves the way for unbanked individuals to join the financial system. Azteco vouchers are available in 195 countries, and the startup is looking to expand its locations across Europe and Latin America with the fresh funds it obtained.

Other investors who participated in the funding round were Visary Capital, Hivemind Ventures, Aleka Capital, Gaingels, Ride Wave Ventures, Sunil Rajaraman, Lightning Ventures and David Van Der Weele.

"More than two billion people worldwide lack access to any financial services, facing significant challenges managing, storing and transferring money and accessing credit," Alexander Fernandez, Azteco's co-founder and CEO, told Decrypt.

Co-founder Paul Ferguson said the latest funding was aimed at empowering unbanked people worldwide "to participate in global commerce regardless of their financial or technical experience level."

The Santa Monica-based startup is working to provide unbanked users with easier ways to buy Bitcoin online without the need to create accounts, as per Axios.

The idea has raised questions about the process possibly allowing for fraudulent transactions. Ferguson said all of Azteco's transactions were below $1,000 and the startup vouchers could be likened to gift cards.

Azteco, which was officially formed in 2020, takes a fraction of Bitcoin redemption transactions that it says take "only a few seconds."

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addresses students during a town hall at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi
Jack Dorsey is a huge believer in the global potential of Bitcoin. Reuters