Crypto.com, formerly known as Monaco, has applied to issue cryptocurrency Visa debit cards in Hong Kong, the blockchain startup said yesterday.
Crypto.com to Ship Over 100,000 Cryptocurrency Visa Debit Cards to Customers Globally
The Hong Kong-based firm is scheduled to ship more than 100,000 cards to customers worldwide over the next two months, reports the South China Morning Post.
Starting with Singapore, where it holds a stored-value facility license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the rollout of the Visa debit card taps an unexplored market. It will offer fiat and crypto wallets supporting BTC, ETH, LTC, MCO, and BNB on the side of virtual currencies, as well as the USD, SGD, and HKD on the side of fiat.
Kris Marszalek, co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com, explained how the company’s Visa debit card, which is issued in partnership with Germany’s Wirecard Bank, addresses the need for easy, secure, and affordable crypto-to-fiat transactions and withdrawals.
“To holders of cryptocurrencies, having the peace of mind that you can readily convert back into fiat currencies and cash out is very important […] Not all exchanges support crypto-to-fiat transactions, and even if you hold your digital assets at the exchanges’ wallet, the withdrawal process is also complicated. We believe our product addresses a real need and enhances trust in digital assets.”
Startup Applies to Money Lending Licenses to Disrupt Credit Card Industry
Crypto.com is also applying for money lending licenses in Singapore and Hong Kong as the company looks to expand to the cryptocurrency-backed money lending business, which is also an untapped market.
Once the authorizations come in, the innovative money lender will be able to offer loans collateralised with Bitcoin and MCO, Crypto.com’s own token, to its customers – holders of the Visa cards and its cryptocurrency wallet service.
Marszalek said the company’s money lending service aims to disrupt the credit card industry as banks live off an unethical business model where consumers who can hardly afford their interest rates obtain unsecured revolving credit.
Crypto.com intends to stave off any credit risk from borrowers as they can only borrow fiat up to 40-60 percent of the pledged collateral, which is in cryptocurrencies.
That, however, doesn’t protect the company from the cryptocurrency market volatility. Given that the price of Bitcoin dropped from $20,000 in mid-December 2017 to the $7,000 area in less than two months, Marszalek needs to run a tight ship.
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