App Makes Bitcoin Ownership Simple, Social and More Inclusive
Gracias, a new mobile app focused on Bitcoin, is working to make crypto accessible for a broader consumer market by integrating familiar and easy-to-use social media functionality like messaging, gifs and emojis. For the initial rollout, the mission-driven company is focusing on inclusion, with the goal of driving Bitcoin literacy and adoption amongst a diverse population, especially young people and communities that are traditionally underrepresented in finance.
Now available on iPhone, Gracias is kicking off its pilot program by gifting the first 10,000 users with a small amount of Bitcoin. During the introductory period, when users supply a promo code, Gracias will deposit the equivalent of $5 of Bitcoin into the user’s accounts. The company will also gift an additional $2 of Bitcoin for each new referral from an existing user to the app.
Gracias raised $1.2 million in its first round of funding earlier this year in partnership with Idealab NY, Zynga co-founder Eric Schiermeyer, and No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, philanthropist and the nation’s foremost life and business strategist Tony Robbins. Following the initial three-month closed pilot period, Gracias will partner with a licensed exchange to allow US-based users to buy, sell and spend cryptocurrency.
“The future of money is being shaped by today’s crypto community,” said Gracias founder Deana Burke. “Gracias is designing for ease-of-use and accessibility, in order to get a more diverse group of people, with different values and interests, involved in this movement while it’s all still so new. So many non-technical people tell me that they are curious about crypto, and want to own some, but they’re confused or intimidated about where to begin. They don’t think this world is available to them and that’s what I’m trying to fix with Gracias.”
“We’re seeing trends in the social payment space that are focused on micropayments, tipping and gifting. Gracias is leveraging these emerging behaviors for a unique, social-first, crypto onboard experience,” says IdealabNY Vice-Chairman and Gracias investor Allen Morgan. “The industry is largely focusing efforts on technology-led solutions which have the unintended effect of leaving major markets behind. Gracias’ customer-centric approach has the potential to truly drive crypto adoption on a global scale.”
A serial entrepreneur, Burke views Bitcoin as the “currency of the future,” and a major catalyst for new wealth creation. She developed the Gracias concept after gifting small amounts of cryptocurrency to her colleagues. To her surprise, Burke found the process unreasonably difficult. She was equally surprised to see how excited this group—all young women in their 20’s—was to receive what amounted to a relatively small amount of Bitcoin.
“Deana Burke is an inspiring business leader who has founded successful companies across several industries,” said Tony Robbins, who supported Burke in launching a previous endeavor, Agency of Trillions, a marketing firm later acquired by Indiegogo. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with Deana and Idealab New York.”
Studies have shown that young people are becoming increasingly comfortable with cryptocurrency. According to a survey by Blockchain Capital, half of young people between the ages of 18 and 34 believe that most people will be using Bitcoin in the next 10 years, and 42% say they’re likely to buy Bitcoin in the next decade, up 10% since 2017. In April, the combined value of the cryptocurrency market grew to nearly $186 billion, its highest level since November 2018. Bitcoin, the most popular of the more than 16,000 cryptocurrencies, has a total market capitalization of $144 billion.