Galoy, the startup that created the open-source, Lightning Network-enabled Bitcoin Beach wallet, recently completed a $ 3 million funding round to speed up operations and help bring its Bitcoin banking platform to more communities, companies and governments.
Miami-based Galoy launched Bitcoin Beach as a proof of concept in the surf town of El Zonte in El Salvador in October 2020. The wallet supports the local Bitcoin Range project there, which sought to create a bitcoin-based economy. The wallet has more than 6,000 users, according to Galoy’s website.
Bitcoin Beach is different from the state-backed wallet of El Salvador, Chivo, which was launched in September 2021, after a law came into effect making Bitcoin legal tender in the country. Chivo is not open source.
Craft Ventures, Kingsway Capital, Trammell Venture Partners and Balaji Srinivasan participated in Galoy’s round of funding, which was announced on December 15. Fulgur Ventures, Bitcoiner Ventures, Vijay Boyapati and Brad Mills also participated.
Galoy’s chief marketing officer, Andrew Begin, told The Block in an interview that the company plans to use the funding to bring the Bitcoin Beach wallet to a wider audience. He noted two new Bitcoin-based community projects in the region using the wallet: Bitcoin Jungle in Costa Rica, which used Galoy’s open source code to create its own wallet, and Bitcoin Lake in Guatemala uses the Bitcoin Beach wallet itself.
“We’re really scaling up from what started out as a proof of concept,” Begin said. “The Bitcoin Beach wallet is emerging as its own business with local leadership,” he said. He did not name specific companies or governments interested in using the wallet.
According to a press release from Galoy, its technology is designed to enable “any community, business or government to offer banking services using Bitcoin and Lightning.” The company says its open source platform includes a core API, point-of-sale apps, mobile wallets, compliance tools, and administrative controls. It also offers what it calls “Banking-as-a-Service”.
“Galoy is not on a mission to be the bank – we want to provide the software, the infrastructure for others to repeat what we saw happen in El Zonte, El Salvador,” Begin continued. “So we’re going to evolve the operations, the development of the team, in order to really bring the platform to a larger audience in the right places in the world. “