Payments On The Blockchain: 29 Startups To Watch In 2019

  • 28 January 2019
  • Sam Mire

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

“Show me the money.”

“You gonna pay for that?”

There are countless ways to say it, but we all know it’s true: little is possible in this world without money. Practically anything worth doing or having comes with a financial cost. Our own government shuts down if they can’t find a way to keep the cash flowing. Try eating a meal at a restaurant and then explaining to the waiter that you forgot your wallet at home — hopefully you don’t mind washing a few dishes.

Finding a way to pay for our goods and services is key to getting by as a human being. For those who have money, spending it nowadays is easier than ever. Consider Venmo, Zelle, and the good ol’ wire transfer — there’s no shortage of ways to move your cash from one place to another. But new and improved methods for moving money more securely are right around the corner.

Blockchain technology has taken firm hold in the financial services sector, fostering a wave of alternatives and improvements to legacy platforms. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology offer a way to send money internationally with little fees or friction to speak of. It’s making previously unknown concepts like microtransactions into mainstream reality.

When it’s easier and more secure to transmit money around the world, it gets a little easier for that world to keep on spinning.

Beluga Pay

Beluga Pay is a Mexican payment platform that offers merchants quicker settlement times by offering crypto payments. When a shopper uses the Beluga Pay platform to purchase a good or service, participating merchants have the option of being paid via credit card or fiat currency, or, can instead choose to receive payment via Bitcoin, Ether, or Beluga’s BBI token. In the case of crypto payment, settlement is instantaneous – merchants don’t have to fret during the two-day credit card processing period. Each purchase and sale using Beluga Pay also accumulates loyalty points for both the customer and merchant.

ICO: February 28, 2018

Funding Type: ICO


Koinex is an Indian digital asset exchange enabled by blockchain technology. The market is designated for the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies and digital tokens, which is where the blockchain comes into the picture. The Koinex platform offers its users a proprietary trading technology, digital wallet, blockchain-enabled security mechanisms, and several user-friendly features that serve to enhance the platforms usability. Their mission: to serve as a stepping stone towards further adoption of blockchain technology and its offshoots in India.

Date Founded: August 2017

Funding Type: Private / Venture-backed

LaLa WorldLaLa World

Singapore-based LaLa World serves migrants and their unbanked families by providing a simple, catch-all blockchain alternative. Because the issues facing migrants are often multi-faceted, LaLa World has conceived a multi-pronged alternative that provides digital ID’s, banking solutions, and more. Through partnerships with NGOs and governments, the LaLa World peer ecosystem is being deployed in the most migrant-concentrated regions. In the short-term, LaLa World represents a solution for providing payment systems for unbanked migrants and refugees; in the long-term, it is slated to become a mainstream tool for businesses and micro-entrepreneurs to transact commercially.

Date Founded: October 2017

Funding Type: ICO


South Korean MOIN, Inc. is an overseas remittance platform that focuses on Asian nations. Their blockchain-enabled payment service circumvents intermediary banks and the SWIFT payment network, cutting out as many intermediaries as possible for quicker settlement. They boast commissions that are up to 80% cheaper than those found in the banking system, as well as security, speed, and convenience in the remittance process. The service currently operates in Japan, China, and South Korea, and further expansion into Southeast Asia and Europe is on the books.

Date Founded: March 21, 2016

Funding Type:  Venture-backed


PumaPay is a comprehensive, advanced billing system that combines the advantages of blockchain technology with the flexibility and ease-of-use of credit cards. The innovative payment system aims to bring usability to cryptocurrencies by designing a set of tools based around PumaPay’s innovative PullPayment protocol. PumaPay’s flexible solution will adapt to any business logic in order to allow for the creation of all the familiar and common billing models. PumaPay already supports the Subscription billing model, previously possible only with credit cards, including simple subscription and subscription with a free or paid trial-period. In the near future, it will introduce more billing models, such as top-ups and utility payments. As the next generation payment system, PumaPay has already gained popularity among a growing network of businesses which have committed to adopt its solution. There are currently more than 100 brands from different industries including fintech, lifestyle brands, adult entertainment and more, waiting to integrate with the PumaPay Protocol. Among them are reputable names such as Iron FX, Vivid Entertainment, and CCBill, to name a few.

ICO: May 7, 2018

Funding Type: ICO

Request NetworkRequest Network

The Request Network is a decentralized payment request and fulfillment network based in Singapore. Akin to Venmo on the blockchain, the network allows users to issue an invoice, and for the payment request to either be rejected or fulfilled, with all transactions being stored on a permanent, decentralized ledger. The general ledger is designed to support the totality of payment types, regardless of currency. The ledger is also considered ‘smart’, in that each trade is tied to a computerized trade code that is immutable and easily-referenced in the case of a dispute.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: ICO


Tel Aviv-based Simplex is a payment processing company whose specialty lies in rooting out fraud. Because cryptocurrencies don’t have the best reputation in terms of fraud protection, Simplex is filling a needed niche – enuring a fraudless crypto-financial environment for brokers, exchanges, wallets, and marketplaces. Their AI algorithm analyzes hundreds of data points for each user and transaction so that little to no fraud slips through the cracks. At the same time, the platform aims to maximize legitimate conversions that may be declined in less sophisticated payment processing platforms

ICO: December 6, 2016

Funding Type: ICO


Verify is a reputation-tracking reputation protocol based in Dubai. The blockchain-facilitated service Verify Payments was built atop the protocol, and serves to track the transaction history of its users, rewarding those with the most sterling reputations. Mutual accountability is implemented through a two-way party rating system that applies to each and every transaction executed through the Verify protocol. CRED tokens underpin each transaction, serving as the basis of “trust”, or insurance for each exchange. And, Verify Payments promises 100% buyers protection for all forms of seller fraud.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: ICO


UTRUST seeks to gain an edge over competitive services by providing unparalleled payments protections. UTRUST features include instantaneous transacting and crypto-to-cash settlement, but it’s their buyer protection mechanisms that they hang their hat on. They tout themselves as the only crypto payment platform that guarantees complete buyer protection for both goods and services purchases – as opposed to only goods. Payments are immediately approved – for better or worse – and exchange fees remain low. UTRUST is banking on this confluence of offerings bringing users to the platform.

Date Founded: October 31, 2017

Funding Type: ICO


Lithuanian crypto payments company CoinGate wants to make it simpler for online and retail businesses to accept crypto as a form of payment. By offering crypto payments but also real-time settlements in Euros, CoinGate is hoping to ease any anxiety or wariness that may be harbored by skeptical merchants. The CoinGate platform allows for the acceptance of the most prominent cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Dash, etc.. – as well as over 50 Altcoins.

Date Founded: 2015

Funding Type: Private

IRISIRIS Payment Solutions

London-based fintech startup IRIS Payment Solutions is taking payment security to the next level. By implementing biometric authentication in combo with blockchain technology, IRIS is taking no chances when it comes to fraud protection. Most forms of payment – credit cards, bank accounts, digital wallets – will be accessible, and protected, through the IRIS Payment network. irisTerminals allow free, instantaneous international payment transfers, while the IRIS Wallet will facilitate the payment of any participating merchants. While low fees and ease of use are pushed as benefits of the IRIS Payment system, make no mistake: it is the biometric protections that set the service apart.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: Venture-backed


PiixPay is an Estonian payment platform that allows users to send cryptocurrencies to friends, family, or whoever – in this respect, it’s not particularly unique. The twist that makes PiixPay a bit different is that it is a platform also suited for users to pay their bills using cryptocurrencies. So, if your landlord is open to the idea, then PiixPay may be a useful way to handle the recurring monthly payments to those who you owe. It is known for conducting same or next-day settlement, operates in 102 countries, and the InstaFill feature saves users time by linking a dedicated crypto wallet address directly to a bank account.

Date Founded: 2014

Funding Type: Private


Entry is a banking platform built for the blockchain dubbed ‘The People’s Bank of Blockchain’. The crypto-centric platform was created to serve as a conduit between legacy and future banking services by offering users access to deposits and ATM withdrawals, cross-border transacting, and a crypto exchange tailored for the business world. Users exchange fiat and cryptocurrencies for ENTRY tokens, maintain those tokens in their account, and use them to facilitate the platform’s functions or liquidate at any time.

Date Founded: November 1, 2017

Funding Type: ICO


Two words: Bitcoin, Canada. That is what Shakepay is all about.

The Montreal-based outfit has created a blockchain-enabled wealth creation platform in Shakepay. It allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin, store their tokens securely, send money to their connected bank, and to do it all free of fees. Though it’s limited to Canada, it is in compliance with the regulatory agencies of the Great White North, which is a hurdle that many startup fintech hopefuls fail to clear.

Date Founded: 2015

Funding Type: Private


HadePay is an infrastructure that consolidates all of the many payment applications and crypto wallets into a single source. Whether users prefer to send and request money using Square, Bitcoin, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Venmo, or another application, the HadePay interface brings them all together for convenience sake. The application also lets users send invoices, accept in-person payments, and even sell products on the HadePay storefront. And, this is all facilitated with the comforting underpinning of blockchain security.

Date Founded: October 1, 2017

Funding Type: Venture-backed

Shift PaymentsShift Payments

Shift Payments is bringing a bit of practicality to the process of spending cryptocurrencies with traditional merchants. Their debit card is linked to a user’s crypto wallet and works with more than 38 million merchants globally. It can also store fiat currency, making it a single source for users who want a bit of spending versatility between their crypto and traditional assets. The card connects directly to Coinbase and can be used anywhere that a Visa card can. Shift also caters to merchants, with several features on their payment platform tailored to regulatory compliance.

Date Founded: 2014

Funding Type: Venture-backed


Boston-based Airfox wants to make capital more accessible and affordable to their customers, and they want to do it using blockchain tech. Users can view advertisements and accept micro-loans to turn their mobile device from a useful distraction into a bona fide money-making tool. As users are rewarded with AirToken, they can then tap into the other features of the app – bill pay, sending money, requesting money, and more. The platform even lets its users recharge their public transportation cards without having to stand in line at the Subway or bus station.

Date Founded: January 28, 2016

Funding Type: ICO


BravoPay is an anonymous payment app born in Phoenix, Arizona, and has ventured to serious heights – it was a successful entrant on NBC’s SharkTank, earning a deal with Mark Cuban and Lori Grenier. Initially meant as a tipping app, it has since grown into broader peer-to-peer to purposes. The Bravo token (BVO) is the centerpiece of the user-friendly platform, which is contingent on anonymity. As society moves towards cashlessness, the BravoPay platform intends to fill the void and eliminate the excuse of those who say “I’d tip you, but I don’t have any cash” or, “sorry, out of small bills”.

Date Founded: 2014

Funding Type: ICO

Open PlatformOpen Platform

Open Platform is a San Francisco-based blockchain infrastructure for mainstream developers to employ blockchain monetization on their apps. Their mission is to spread decentralized payment systems as far and wide as they possibly can by sharing their core platform for integration in existing applications. In fact, the Open Platform will serve as the ecosystem for mainstream developers to flock to in order to achieve blockchain integration in the financial aspects of their apps; in doing so, they’ll seek to tap into the digital currency market, which was previously closed off to them.

ICO: February 22, 2018

Funding Type: ICO

Glance TechnologiesGlance Technologies

Glance Technologies is the maker of Glance Pay, a blockchain-enabled platform aiming to enhance how mobile shopping is done. Users can track their expenses and handle bill payment with Glance Pay; with Glance PayMe, they can pay businesses mobilly for goods and services; and with Glance Coin, they can be rewarded for their loyalty while integrating cryptocurrencies into their everyday routine. Some of their more attention-grabbing features include geo-targeted promotions, in-app marketing capability, in-merchant messaging, and customized rewards programs.

Date Founded: October 24, 2014

Funding Type: Private


Wampei is a Colorado-based outfit that provides software for companies who want to accept payment in cryptocurrencies without the need for banks or other third-party institutions. Their primary customer demographics include physical merchants, online retailers, businesses who handle transactions greater than $150 and all other unbanked businesses. In the era of the pop-up shop, food truck, and fly-by-night entrepreneur Wampei wants to ensure that all businesses have the opportunity to tap into emergent sources of wealth and commerce.

Date Founded: January 2017

Funding Type: Private


Routefusion is a platform that consolidates multiple payment methods into a single application. Customers request where they want to send money, and Routefusion uses a proprietary algorithm to handle the legwork of finding a suitable international money transfer service. This means that users avoid the KYC and related compliance aspects, exchange rate complications, and other issues that typically accompany international transactions. Their reliance on the blockchain means strong security measures and anonymity, and the service even offers same-day settlement.

Date Founded: 2018

Funding Type: Private


Spend is a digital financial platform that is built on three main products. The Toronto-based startup offers its Spend App as a digital wallet that accommodates 16 different cryptos as well as fiat currencies. Users can also send, receive, and trade currencies where applicable using the app. The Spend Card is a prepaid debit card that allows users to dish out their funds – crypto and fiat – to over 40 million merchants across the globe. Lastly, Spend Business is an application program interface (API) for developers so that they might build their own apps and projects upon Spend’s underlying code.

Date Founded: July 2018

Funding Type: Private


MOVO considers itself a ‘neo-bank’ with a soft spot for the globe’s countless unbanked citizens. Based out of Silicon Valley, MOVO replaces the banking system with mobile devices by allowing users to send and receive funds without a traditional bank account. And yet, MOVO accounts are FDIC insured and come equipped with strong fraud protection. The platform’s currency, MovoCoin, can be loaded onto Visa debit cards for use at most retailers, while those with Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash can also easily convert their funds for easy coordination with their MOVO debit card.

Date Founded: July 21, 2014

Funding Type: Venture-backed


KudiGo is a blockchain-powered, multi-purpose platform aimed at improving opportunity and quality of life in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Ghana-based startup offers a mobile solution for banking, retail, and accounting that is secure and has essential offline capability in the uncertain region. The KudiGo Storefront is the home base of the software suite, and it offers merchants and retailers a simple interface upon which merchants can update their inventory offerings, make sales, and contact suppliers with order requests. The KudiGo platform hopes to help small and medium-sized enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa conduct smarter business.

Date Founded: June 6, 2017

Funding Type: Private

KorapayKora Network

The Kora Network is helping individuals and businesses in Africa send and receive payments, regardless of where those payments are coming from or going. The platform is aimed at accelerating global growth by securitizing assets that rarely are – agricultural cash flows, mining etc. into security tokens. The Kora Network blockchain stores identity and facilitates transaction for seamless commerce on a global scale, with the express purpose of helping develop the oft-tenuous economies of Africa.

Date Founded: August 15, 2016

Funding Type: ICO


Everex is a microfinance and remittance platform fit for the global economy. Its target demo is the un- and underbanked, migrant workers and their families, tourists and expats, and those in similarly precarious financial situations. The Everex platform uses blockchain technology and its benefits to replace legacy services like travelers checks, conversion services, currency exchanges, etc. Users are able to deposit funds, conduct international mobile payments, cash out in fiat currencies, and have access to digital escrow, all through a blockchain-powered mobile app.

Date Founded: 2016

Funding Type: ICO


Uquid is a blockchain-powered online payment solution for Bitcoin and Altcoin users. Users can make payment with a single click using the online or mobile platforms, or can use Uquid’s mobile card to make payments with the Uquid debit card, which also accommodates Euros, American dollars, and other native currencies. The platform allows for cross-border, cross-ocean transacting and makes its bones on ease of use and no requirement for formal identification upon joining the ecosystem.

Date Founded: May 19, 2016

Funding Type: ICO

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.