Bitcoin payment processor and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider OpenNode announced Wednesday that it has raised $20 million in Series A financing – at a $220 million valuation – to help the company achieve its goal of making Bitcoin payments simple and accessible for everyone and everywhere.
The Series A round was led by UK-based Kingsway Capital, with investments from Twitter, billionaire Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper and Fidelity Investments venture capital unit Avon Ventures. The proceeds will be used for OpenNode's global expansion plans, growing the bitcoin economy by building the future of payments.
"Our Series A financing is focused on continuing our investment behind our compliance, security and engineering but we're poised for substantial growth," says Josh Held, head of strategy for OpenNode. "We need to hire a significant amount of people to continue to meet the demand that our multinational partners, our exchange partners and others are placing on us as we continue to provide infrastructure for the growing space," Held told ZDNet.
Since its creation four years ago, OpenNode has been focused on providing secure, reliable bitcoin payment acceptance and payout solutions for businesses, platforms, and people globally. The Lightning Network, for example, is a protocol that enables Bitcoin payments to scale, making it possible for Bitcoin to act as a payment method. "We're excited about the scalability of the Lightning Network because there's no blockchain fees for the payers, it's truly instant settlement for the recipients and the security and interoperability for everyone is based on better technology," Held says, noting that Bitcoin hasn't been hacked…so far. "The security element is the important piece. As people look to the future and how they ultimately are utilizing Bitcoin network and Bitcoin as an asset, security is something that leads a technology stack and is personally exciting for me; I feel like that's actually what's missing in a lot of other payment systems and without the education even more so," he added.
OpenNode is working on a series of projects in which the latest Series A financing will help to build, including a digital wallet, along with extensions of that wallet with an account linked debit card, as well as continue to increase its ability to settle in a range of global currencies. "Based on the volumes that are coming from a range of industries – we're seeing an uptick in digital goods with merchant providers, so we want to continue to bolster our ability to onboard new merchants, service those accounts in a best-in-class way and continue to make the education that's necessary to help create wide-set adoption for Bitcoin," Held said.
In its efforts to expand globally, Held said OpenNode is working with multinational companies and several governments in Latin America, Europe and other emerging areas. "A lot of governments have actually sought us out to help with their bitcoin strategy because we're helping businesses, platforms and people everywhere. It really has given us a thought leadership opportunity." Held added that he wants to make OpenNode the standard for Bitcoin payment infrastructure. "With businesses, platforms, governments and people all over the world – with the utilities we're intending to build out – we're excited as we position ourselves to go out and execute," he said.
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