Bartering App Bunz Launches its Own Cryptocurrency

Canada’s number one platform for trading transit tokens for antique kitsch is launching its own cryptocurrency.

Bunz has announced the launch of the cryptocurrency Bunz Trading Zone, otherwise known as BTZ, and pronounced like “bits.” The Toronto-based company is a massive online barter and community building zone, helping users swap old items, find places to rent, and even find new friends.

The new cryptocurrency was funded by an undisclosed Series A from Fidelity and other angel investors.

BTZ will be launched as a token for users to trade within the Bunz app, as well as being accepted in over 100 local brick and mortar food, beverage and retail locations. Right now on the platform, there are crab hats, coffee mugs, and even a machete, all available for trade with BTZ.

Starting today, anyone with the latest version of the Bunz app will receive 1,000 BTZ. Early adopters and active users will be rewarded for engaging with the app from the beginning and will earn more BTZ by growing the community, posting high-trafficked items for sale, sharing the Bunz app, and even watching videos about BTZ.

“Bunz’s fundamental goal is to build a community that promotes a sustainable future,” said Sascha Mojtahedi, CEO of Bunz Trading Zone. “Part of making the world more sustainable economically means the decentralization of social networks and marketplaces, making way for stronger local communities. New technologies like cryptocurrency are making that possible. BTZ is an extension of the Bunz bartering revolution. We see a future where large institutions will be replaced with decentralized systems that are owned by the people who use them, instead of the people that built them.”

Bunz originally started as a bartering app, but the inspiration for the new cryptocurrency came from the company’s recognition that gift cards and transit tokens were often used in lieu of another item when a true barter exchange was not possible. BTZ now allows Bunz users to be more flexible and secure with payment options, and even use the cryptocurrency outside of the app.

Locations that will accept BTZ are largely in the Toronto area, including the Drake General Store, Reunion Island Coffee, Halo Brewery and others. Bunz will look to expand the shops that support BTZ in the near future.

The history of Bunz is unique from an entrepreneurial sense, as it started as a secret, invite-only Facebook group by Emily Bitze five years ago. Mojtahedi saw the group and offered to combine it with his unsuccessful (at the time) trading app, and Bunz was born. The app has active groups in every major Canadian city and boasts over one million users who have collectively made one million trades and two million offers.