Bitcoin: VALR, the cryptocurrency platform with a spiritual message

By Quentin Velluet
Posted on Tuesday, 13 September 2022 11:46

VALR billboard at Cape Town International Airport, South Africa. The start-up's vision advocates a financial system based on unity, freedom and justice, true to the precepts of Bahā'ism, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion born in the 19th century whose followers are estimated to number some 7 million worldwide. ©TERTIUS GOUS/VALR

Imbued with the values of Bahā'ism, a monotheistic religion born in the 19th century proclaiming the unity of humanity, the South African start-up valued at $240 million has said it wants to emancipate itself from the borders imposed by the concept of the nation-state.

Israel, 1999. In one of the sumptuous gardens that adorn the Baha’i World Centre, located in the heart of the thousand-year-old city of Haifa, Farzam Ehsani, an American student born in Kenya to Iranian parents, is leaning over a row of rose bushes that need pruning. Having arrived a few weeks earlier from Los Angeles, the young economist, a follower of bahā’ism, a denomination stemming from Shiite Islam which advocates the uniqueness of the human race and considers that all religions have a common basis, has come for a one-year spiritual retreat.