We have all been waiting and waiting for Xapo’s Bitcoin Debit Card and according to Ted Rodgers, the Chief Strategy Officer at Xapo, our wait will soon be coming to an end. In fact, the first shipment of debit cards went out on July 29, 2014, so many of those who pre-ordered, should check their mailboxes this afternoon.
The Xapo debit card is the world’s first Bitcoin debit card that is tied to your wallet balance. The card acts as a seamless extension of your Xapo wallet and allows Bitcoin holders to spend their bitcoins at any merchant that accepts debit cards, online or offline without the merchant even knowing that you are spending Bitcoin. Since the Xapo debit card provides a way for Bitcoin holders to transact at literally millions of merchants around the world, Xapo hopes that the card will act as a catalyst in terms of the global adoption of Bitcoin. Additionally, the card also helps users become comfortable with spending their bitcoins while also allowing merchants to understand the potential of virtual currencies. Xapo has excited the crypto community since they announced their Bitcoin debit card months ago, and after a few hiccups, the hopes may come to fruition and the excitement may soon become reality.
The Xapo wallet lets you manage your money when you want and where you want. With the click of a button, with the sending of an email or the swipe of your Xapo debit card, you can send and move your bitcoin with relative ease. Xapo has been described by The Wall Street Journal as the “Fort Knox of Bitcoin storage”. Xapo owns a network of underground vaults where it stores its customer’s Bitcoin information. Xapo charges an annual fee to store deposits in these secured vaults but also provides something no other vault currently does, insurance. Both the wallet and debit card service are free, except for the $15 charge to get a the actual debit card.
With the Bitcoin debit card, Xapo has developed a new standard of Bitcoin security and a way to fully insure your assets in the vault so that you can rest assured your money is safe and sound. I had other questions, and so I spoke to Ted Rodgers, the Chief Strategy Officer of Xapo to get answers to help me understand the company and decide if Xapo is the safest place to store Bitcoin.
CCN: Thanks so much for answering my questions Ted. Many crypto enthusiasts, including myself, have been waiting for that Bitcoin home or one-stop shop, and it looks like you are trying to create that here at Xapo. So I hear that Xapo will combine the convenience of a Bitcoin wallet with the security of cold storage. Can you explain this?
Yes, Xapo is a combination of a Bitcoin vault and a Bitcoin wallet. The vault is all about security and safety while the wallet is all about convenience and ease of use. Xapo’s vault is actually a dispersed series of cold storage vaults where user’s bitcoins are segmented and stored offline. Bitcoins stored in the Xapo vault are fully insured. The vault works with the mobile wallet to allow users to view their balance and safely and instantly transfer their funds.
CCN: Where is Xapo located and does Xapo have a goal or a mission statement?
Xapo is a Palo Alto, California based company. It was founded by Xapo CEO Wences Casares and Xapo’s aim is to make the Bitcoin currency secure and accessible to the entire world.
CCN: Can you tell me about the Xapo vault? How exactly does it work?
Xapo has developed a new standard of Bitcoin security. We keep the bitcoins in offline servers in underground vaults, several stories underground with biometric access and armed security in different continents. To steal the coins you would not only need to hack into our technology security infrastructure, but you would need to physically break into those vaults simultaneously, among other things.
CCN: Is there an advanced or double encryption method that protects these stored assets?
Yes. The Xapo vault offers advanced proprietary encryption and a highly secure process to move bitcoins offline, where they are stored in geographically dispersed locations and guarded by intense physical security.
CCN: And I hear you offer insurance? Is this true? By whom?
Yes. We have an insurance policy with Meridian Global, which is a licensed and regulated captive insurance company managed by Willis Insurance. Bitcoin is new for the insurance industry, but with the help of Willis and our partners at Benchmark, Fortress and Ribbit Capital, we were able to construct an insurance policy that fully insures the bitcoins stored in our vault. Additionally, most of the insurance reserve is in bitcoins, which means that the insurance coverage scales if the price of Bitcoin goes up.
CCN: Who is on the Xapo team? Any big players?
Xapo is led by founder and CEO Wences Casares, along with co-founder and COO Federico Murrone and President Cindy McAdam.
CCN: Can you tell me anymore about Wences Casares?
Wences Casares is an international entrepreneur who has founded successful technology and financial ventures in the US, South America, and Europe. He founded Argentina’s first ISP, and then went on to found Patagon, Latin America’s premier online brokerage, which was sold to Banco Santander for $750m. He later founded Banco Lemon, a Brazilian retail bank, as well as mobile payment companies Bling Nation and Lemon Wallet, which was acquired in 2013 for $50m before he launched Xapo. More company profiles can be found HERE.
CCN: What services are currently operational at Xapo?
Xapo currently offers the wallet, the vault, and we have started rolling out the Xapo Debit Card, which will continue to ship to customers over the next few months. Our first allotment of Xapo debit cards shipped the 29th [of July] and will continue to ship throughout the coming months. We’ll share pertinent updates regarding the Xapo debit card on our blog here.
CCN: Can you explain the details of the debit card?
The Xapo debit card will be accepted by any business or ATM in the world that accepts cards from the card network partner. The balance on your Xapo debit card is tied to the bitcoin in your Xapo Wallet. This is different from any other bitcoin cards on the market. Other companies have released what’s similar to a pre-paid card. This is where customers must plan ahead, manually convert bitcoin before making the purchases themselves, and use the card to spend their local currency. With Xapo, a customer only deals in bitcoin and the debit card is the seamless extension of their Xapo Wallet. The card doesn’t carry any additional fees and merchants won’t be able to tell that the card is different than any other traditional debit or credit card.
CCN: Well thank you very much Ted, I appreciate your time and look forward to getting my bitcoin debit card and I will be reporting on how well it goes as soon as I get it.
Have you received you Xapo debit card yet? Please comment, post your own link or create a post telling us how your first few transactions went. For those who haven’t yet ordered theirs, are you convinced and ready to order? Head over to Xapo now and sign up for a free wallet so you can see the ease and functionality. Also, let us know here at CCN if you decide to use the vault. We value your opinion and I would also like to hear some answers to this question.
Is Xapo the one-stop Bitcoin wallet and cold storage vault we have all been waiting for? Only time, and no more delays, will tell.