A London-based fintech startup is planning on launching a prepaid Visa debit card, giving users the option to spend a range of cryptocurrencies across the U.K.
On Tuesday, the London Block Exchange (LBX) launched, headed by an 18-year Credit Suisse veteran. Future plans with the fintech company include launching a sterling-to-cryptocurrency exchange in addition to a Visa prepaid debit card, called the Dragoncard, reports Business Insider.
When the card becomes available, users will be able to convert a range of digital currencies to sterling to then spend across the U.K. The cryptocurrencies include bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, litecoin and monero. LBX is planning to add more digital currencies in the future.
LBX CEO and founder Ben Dives said in a statement:
Despite being the financial capital of the world, London is a difficult place for investors to enter and trade in the cryptocurrency market. We’ll bring it into the mainstream by removing the barriers to access, and by helping people understand and have confidence in what we believe is the future of money.
Issued by Gibraltar-based prepaid card provider Wavecrest, the Visa prepaid card will be linked to an app. Through this users will be able to then purchase the available digital currencies via the LBX exchange. They will also have the option of withdrawing money using the card, which will be converted into sterling at the time.
Before joining LBX, Adam Bryant was at Credit Suisse and UBS, running the macro hedge fund teams at both banks.
In a statement, Bryant said:
We’re offering a grown up and robust experience for those who wish to safely and easily understand and invest in digital currencies. We’re confident we’ll transform this market in the UK and will become the leading cryptocurrency and blockchain consultancy for institutional investors and consumers alike.
Users of the platform will be charged 0.5 percent for buying and selling digital currencies whereas the Dragoncard has an up-front fee of £20. Wavecrest will also be charging a small fee for cash withdrawals.
This announcement comes at a time when the cryptocurrency market is experiencing a steady rise in value, after witnessing a drop in the price of bitcoin over the weekend. At the time of publishing, the combined market value is worth $218.2 billion while bitcoin is trading at over $7,200, according to CoinMarketCap.
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