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AirTM Looking To Penetrate Weak Financial Markets

AirTMMexico-based cryptocurrency exchange AirTM has just finished its Series A funding and which has brought in $7 million from investors. The company has already revealed that its plans to use the funds to target the emerging South American cryptocurrency market. It will focus on targeting countries with weak financial economies and look to make a major difference.

AirTM hopes to give banking alternatives to people, allowing them to conduct transactions that they would normally not have access to. Their digital wallets give people a safe place to store their cash and easy access to cryptocurrencies. It also allows local freelancers to receive payments from foreign employers and get them in the local currency. The company is planning to continue this initiative.

AirTM

In a statement, the company said

This is a much better solution than getting paid in devaluing currencies or via an e-wallet that is not connected to the freelancer's local bank network

Due to the growing distrust in local banks, AirTM is presenting itself as a logical alternative. One of the unique features that it offers is how it can exchange local currency for its US dollar-denominated token, AirUSD. Investors, led by BlueYard Capital, seem to like the business model and have put quite a bit of money into the company to see where it will go in the future.

Venezuela – A Major Market

AirTM's successful investment round is not the only thing keeping it in the news. Earlier this year, the company partnered up with Zooko Wilcox, the inventor of the zcash cryptocurrency in hopes of helping Venezuelan residents transact with zcash and US dollars instead of the local bolivar, which has become hyper-inflated because of the country's economic woes.

US dollars are still worth a lot in Venezuela, however the local exchange rate discourages ownership of the dollar. With zcash, locals would be able to anonymously convert their bolivars to dollars so that they would have money to spend.

This has led to some Venezuelans bypassing local banking services completely. According to AirTM, they have provided services to over 200,000 people in Venezuela. Company records say that, as of April 2018, Venezuelans do 60,000 transactions per month on AirTM.

However, this has led to some backlash from the Venezuelan government. In May of this year, the Maduro government announced ‘Operation Paperhands‘ and has cracked down on cryptocurrency exchanges for supposedly allowing illegal bolivar/dollar exchanges. AirTM was one of the three exchanges that were shut down, along with Intersach and Rapidcambio. Earlier this week however the Venezuelan government release their own app to convert bolivar to a thier own crytocurrency the ‘Petro’.


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