Toronto-based start-up encourages sustainable and local economy with BTZ

TORONTO, April 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – Bunz, the online barter and community building zone, today launches BTZ (Bunz Trading Zone, pronounced ‘bits’), a cryptocurrency with immediate, real world use. This marks the first time a Canadian company will launch a cryptocurrency to an established, engaged community of users, who can easily use the token as soon as it launches. Above and beyond using the token to trade within the app, Bunz has partnered with more than 100 local bricks and mortar food, beverage and retail locations to accept BTZ in exchange for goods and services.

As of today, anyone with the latest version of the Bunz app, as well as all new downloads, will receive 1000 BTZ, though there is a finite amount of BTZ to be distributed. Early adopters and active app users will be rewarded for engaging with the app from the beginning – they will be able to earn BTZ by actively contributing to community growth, through posting items for trade that receive many views, sharing the Bunz app with their networks, or watching educational videos about BTZ.

“Bunz’s fundamental goal is to build community that promotes a sustainable future. Part of making the world more sustainable economically means the decentralization of social networks and marketplaces, making way for stronger local communities. New technologies like cryptocurrency are making that possible,” said Sascha Mojtahedi, CEO, Bunz Trading Zone. “BTZ is an extension of the Bunz bartering revolution. We see a future where large institutions will be replaced with decentralized systems that are owned by the people who use them, instead of the people that built them.”

The Bunz team was motivated to develop BTZ as they witnessed the evolution of the original trading zone, with users often resorting to subway tokens and gift cards as commonly accepted alternatives to cash when a true trade wasn’t possible. BTZ offers the rapidly growing Bunz community of 1 million users a more flexible, secure and democratic option to barter trades, as well as the ability to use the cryptocurrency with businesses outside of the Bunz community.

Starting today, BTZ can be redeemed for food, coffee, beer, clothing, beauty services and even vinyl records from partners like Cry Wolf Clothing, Drake General Store, The Fifth Pubhouse, Halo Brewery, Hayley Elsaesser, High 5 Curated Convenience, Reunion Island Coffee, Tiny Record Shop, and more (a full list of retailers can be found here). Bunz will continue to grow its network of BTZ partners in Toronto, across Canada and beyond, allowing users to participate in its cash-alternative economy in a day-to-day way. 

Bunz’s innovative application of cryptocurrency is the embodiment of its commitment to building a more democratic and sustainable world. Users can download the app here to claim their BTZ and activate their wallet starting today.

Investment details
Bunz received funds from Fidelity and an angel investor, closing out its Series A funding in March 2018.

About Bunz Trading Zone:
Bunz was founded in Toronto 2013 by Emily Bitze as a secret Facebook group for trading things with friends. As invitations spread, a revolution began: a cashless culture emerged, rooted in a commitment to building a more sustainable future through the power of barter and human connection. The app, alongside, launched in 2016 and today is active in every major Canadian city, as well as major centres around the world. Bunz has helped its loyal, passionate community members complete 1 million trades, make 2 million offers, and start more than 20 million conversations across the world.

In 2018, Bunz furthered its commitment to sustainable and local economies by launching a cryptocurrency, BTZ (Bunz Trading Zone, pronounced ‘bits’). People with the Bunz app can earn and spend BTZ through trades with fellow users, or at retail partners for coffee, food, designer clothing, vinyl, beer and much more. The app is available for Apple and Android.

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