Bunz is an existing online marketplace where users barter for different goods and services. On April 9, the Toronto-based company announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency.
That cryptocurrency will be called BTZ, or Bunz Trading Zone. It’s pronounced like “bits”. The cryptocurrency will have immediate utility on the Bunz marketplace: users will be able to use the token within the Bunz app as soon as it launches.
The primary purpose of the token is for trading within the app. Bunz has partnered with 100+ local brick-and-mortar food, beverage, and retail locations that will accept BTZ in exchange for goods and services.
This is the first time a Canadian company has launched a cryptocurrency to an established and engaged group of users who can use the token immediately after launch.
As of April 9, anyone with the Bunz app – as well as anyone who downloads the app – will receive 1,000 BTZ. However, there’s a finite amount of BTZ available for distribution.
Early adopters and active app users will be rewarded in exchange for engaging with the app from the beginning. These users will be able to earn BTZ by actively contributing to community growth by posting items for trade that receive views, sharing the Bunz app within their network, or watching educational videos about BTZ.
“Bunz's fundamental goal is to build community that promotes a sustainable future. Part of making the world more sustainable economically means the decentralization of social networks and marketplaces, making way for stronger local communities,” explained Sascha Mojtahedi, CEO of Bunz Trading Zone. “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.”
The company was motivated to launch the cryptocurrency after they witnessed their community using a diverse range of products for bartering – including everything from subway tokens to gift cards. Now, with BTZ tokens, the company can facilitate a wider range of trades.
Today, the Bunz community consists of approximately 1 million users. These users interact with one another across a secure and flexible marketplace where they can democratically barter trades. Bunz users can also use the cryptocurrency with businesses outside the Bunz community – including over a dozen businesses in the Toronto area.
Some of the available brick-and-mortar merchants that accept BTZ starting today include food, coffee, beer, clothing, and beauty companies. BTZ will also be accepted in exchange for vinyl records, among other unique items. Some of the partner shops include Halo Brewery, Cry Wolf Clothing, Drake General Store, The Fifth Pubhouse, Hayley Elsaesser, High 5 Curated Convenience, Tiny Record Shop, and Reunion Island Coffee. You can view a full list of affiliated retailers that accept BTZ on their website. These merchants are all based in Toronto, although the long-term goal is to grow the Bunz and BTZ network outside of the city, across Canada, and around the world.
Bunz Trading Zone, or Bunz, was founded in Toronto in 2013 by Emily Bitze. The company originally existed as a secret Facebook group for trading items with friends. As invitations spread, however, a revolution began to emerge: the group was increasingly interacting with one another in a cashless culture, rooted in a commitment for a more sustainable future. Instead of exchanging cash for items, Bunz community members were bartering: someone might trade a lawnmower for a chainsaw, for example.
The Bunz app, along with Bunz.com, launched in 2016. Today, the platform is active in all major Canadian cities and in several hubs around the world.
In 2018, the Toronto-based company announced plans to launch its own BTZ cryptocurrency. You can get started with Bunz today by downloading the app for iOS and Android. Or, visit Bunz.com for more information.