Galoy, the company behind the open-source, Lightning Network-compatible Bitcoin Beach wallet, just raised $3 million in early funding to expand its operations and extend its Bitcoin banking platform to additional communities, corporations, and governments.
In October 2020, Galoy, located in Miami, will establish Bitcoin Beach as a proof-of-concept in the El Salvador surf hamlet of El Zonte. The wallet contributes to the local Bitcoin Beach initiative, which aims to establish a bitcoin-based economy in the area. According to Galoy’s website, the wallet has over 6,000 users.
Bitcoin Beach is not the same as El Salvador‘s state-backed wallet Chivo, which debuted in September 2021, following the passage of legislation making Bitcoin legal cash in the nation. Chivo is not an open source project.
In an interview, Galoy’s marketing director Andrew Begin said that the business intends to utilize the funds to offer the Bitcoin Beach wallet to a larger audience. He mentioned two additional Bitcoin-based community initiatives in the region that use the wallet: Bitcoin Jungle in Costa Rica, which created their own wallet using Galoy’s open-source technology, and Bitcoin Lake in Guatemala, which uses the Bitcoin Beach wallet itself.
“We’re really scaling up from what started out as a proof-of-concept. The Bitcoin Beach wallet is being turned into its own company with local leadership,”
He made no mention of any specific corporations or countries that would be interested in using the wallet.
Galoy’s solution, according to a news release, is intended to enable “any community, company, or government to offer banking services using Bitcoin and Lightning.” The open-source platform, according to the business, comprises a backend API, point-of-sale apps, mobile wallets, compliance tools, and administrative controls. It also provides what it refers to as “Banking-as-a-Service.”
“Galoy is not in the business of being a bank; we want to provide the software and infrastructure for others to replicate what we saw in El Zonte, El Salvador,” Begin explained. “As a result, we’ll be scaling operations and team development in order to truly bring the platform to a broader audience in the right places around the world.”