Women in Blockchain: Meet Maria Luna, CEO of BRAVO Pay
BRAVO Pay is a mobile payment app that already has tens of thousands of users in the United States paying one another instantly, securely and privately. Now the company is expanding globally by integrating blockchain and cryptocurrency payments. Find out more about BRAVO Pay here »
“You stretch your leg only until the point where it is still covered by the blanket.”
Maria Luna has vivid memories of her mother saying this, a lot. It’s an old Spanish proverb, and growing up as the youngest in a family of six in Puerto Rico, Luna couldn’t believe the miracles her single mother would perform on an annual salary of just over $2000 during the 1970s. To put this in perspective, the US poverty threshold for a family of six at the time was $6,690 a year.
“I am convinced my mother was some sort of a magician, because we never missed food on the table or any essentials. Whenever we asked for something, her rhetorical question to us was: ‘Do we really need that?’ ”
“My mother’s livelihood depended massively on gratuities, which is why it was so important for me to develop a solution to the problem of gratuities in an increasingly cashless society, a solution that can empower anyone to get paid what they deserve, especially service industry professionals.”
Breaking the Poverty Trap
“One of my most vivid memories is the day I realized I was poor.”
Luna was 5 years old when this realization hit her, and the very next day she asked her teacher if she could speak with her alone after class. Mrs Santiago sat Luna on her desk, looked her in the eyes and said:
“Promise me that you will never forget what I’m about to tell you. You will only stop being poor if you study hard. You are a very smart little girl. Exercise your brain with all your heart and go to college. I know you will do it! Just promise me that one day you will talk to a girl like yourself about this, and make her promise you the same thing.”
That was a defining moment for Luna that changed the course of her life. She knew that she had to work hard to escape poverty, and to keep her promise to Mrs. Santiago.
Taking BRAVO Worldwide
BRAVO was incorporated in 2014 and launched their first solution to the market in 2015. The app (in Beta) is currently used by tens of thousands of small businesses, service professionals, freelancers, consultants, and artists to easily pay and get paid for their work.
“We want every single person that works hard for their money to be financially empowered and achieve their dreams, and it was important for us to make this idea come to life. One of our major accomplishments is that we have created jobs for many families, and our employees are truly part of our family.” said Luna.
“I made a promise to Mrs Santiago many years ago, and now I am keeping my promise. Easy payment solutions like BRAVO are making the economy a more inclusive place for everyone, and we’re so happy to be a part of that.”
BRAVO is expanding globally by integrating blockchain technology that will reduce transaction costs for users while increasing transaction speed on the network.
The BRAVO app will also be accepting cryptocurrency payments in the near future via a BRAVO token (BVO) that will be used to power the platform.
You can download the BRAVO Pay app for free from the Google Play or Apple App Store to test it out. Link your bank account to the BRAVO app in seconds and start making instant, secure and private payments to other users directly or to anyone nearby using your phone’s geolocation.
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This content was originally published here.