Digital payment start-up Centi attracts experienced investors


Centi, the Zurich-based digital currency payments processor for retailers, has closed its first funding round headlined by Jürg Conzett, founder of Zurich's MoneyMuseum & technology entrepreneur Calvin Ayre, founder of the Ayre Group and CoinGeek.


Founded by long-time Bitcoin advocate Bernhard Müller-Hug, Centi is a system that enables merchants to accept digital currency payments through existing Point of Sale (POS) infrastructure. By integrating with existing POS systems and acquirers and avoiding the need for additional hardware, Centi offers a streamlined solution for businesses to begin accepting Bitcoin SV payments, which attract much lower fees for merchants compared with traditional payment networks.

With Centi, from a merchant's perspective, nothing changes. Because the product integrates into existing POS systems, no additional hardware is required, nor is additional staff training necessary. Payments are made by customers in BSV, but received by merchants in their local fiat currency, eliminating issues associated with accepting and accounting for digital currencies.

Initial rollout in Switzerland

The first merchants utilising the Centi system for payments will be online and available for use later this year, with an initial rollout planned with retail partners across Switzerland.

The Centi payments platform is built for use exclusively with Bitcoin SV – according to a press release its blockchain is the only solution that offers the fast processing times, predictable low fees, and unbounded scaling required to compete with traditional providers in the space. The Bitcoin SV network enjoys transaction fees as low as 1/100 of a U.S. cent. Even with service fees charged by Centi, its system will cost less for merchants than payment cards.

In keeping with the wider mission of Bitcoin SV to operate an ecosystem that maintains lawful conduct and is regulation friendly, Centi has become a member of the Financial Services Standards Association (VQF), a self-regulatory organization focused on AML for financial intermediaries in Switzerland.

Combining blockchain with a low cost payment system

Jürg Conzett commented on his decision to support Centi: "I have invested in Centi because of the excellence and commitment of the founder, the scaling ability of BSV and the wish to support a commercial Bitcoin product. Centi is well prepared to take advantage of combining blockchain with an efficient, low cost payment system. Further it has potential to add features no other payments system has today."

Calvin Ayre pointed to Centi's potential to quickly drive usage of BSV payments as motivating his decision to invest: "In the digital currency space, we need to reframe thinking so that value is derived from real utility. Centi's technology offers a breakthrough solution for the easy adoption of Bitcoin SV by merchants. The innovative technology developed by Centi coupled with a blockchain that can scale makes for an exciting combination, one that I'm confident will prove a pivotal step in Bitcoin SV's evolution as the digital currency of choice."

(Press release / SK)