Zumo, an Edinburgh-based mobile wallet and payments start-up backed by Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman, has launched an app that stores, sends and allows consumers to spend and exchange cryptocurrencies online.
Today, customers can use the app to buy, sell and exchange both Bitcoin and Etherium cryptocurrencies. Since the start of lockdown in March, the price of Bitcoin has risen sharply as retail investors rush to Bitcoin as a safe haven.
Nick Jones, CEO and founder of Zumo, said: “Covid-19 has fast forwarded the move to a cashless society and for safe and easy ways to invest in new forms of currency that are more resilient to crises such as this one.
“Zumo allows people to safely exchange, store, send and use their own money online without needing a bank account.
“Our app was created for everyone. That includes the hundreds of millions of ordinary people who trust in global financial markets where they exert no agency. We want those people to own their own money in a way that wasn’t possible when the last financial crash hit in 2008.”
Charles Read, a strategist and adviser to blockchain start-ups including Zumo, said: “I have worked with a lot of blockchain companies and the problem has always been around onboarding new users who aren’t technical.
“Zumo has all the benefits of decentralised technology without the teething problems for new users, that’s why I am really excited to be a part of it. Having traditional and digital currency in one user friendly interface is a huge step forward for the blockchain world.”
Investor David Murray, managing director of Murray Capital, said: “Now is the time to be investing in the technologies that will shape the financial security of future generations. We have an excellent opportunity now to bring those with no bank account online, particularly people in developing countries, and we are excited to support Zumo in their mission to do so.”
Zumo’s team say they are on a mission to radically improve the security, cost and speed of payments globally. These barriers to financial inclusion have been exacerbated by the economic fall-out of the coronavirus lockdown.
Over the coming weeks, Zumo will incorporate currencies including sterling and euros onto the app alongside a convertible debit card that can be used contactless in the way any other debit or credit card can. The app will also centralise a user’s control over their financial, personal, employment and genetic data alongside an ultra-secure messaging service in ways that other social platforms or banking systems do not.
Zumo has also rolled out its software development kit for other businesses to start taking payments in cryptocurrency with a focus on the emerging markets. A partnership with a soon to be launched challenger bank targeting the developing world is currently in development for launch in Q4.
Zumo’s investors include Guy Berryman, better known as Coldplay’s bass guitarist, and the company recently earned the support of Murray Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.