Bitcoin: Coming Soon to a Visa Card Near You
They’re not “just for drug lords” anymore – according to Bloomberg, an enterprising Singapore-based startup is looking to bring digital currencies into “the real world.”
A recurring challenge for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is how to make them work in the real world. A Singapore-based startup says the answer is its Visa card.
TenX is pitching its debit card as an instant converter of multiple digital currencies into fiat money: the dollars, yen and euros that power most everyday commerce. The company said it takes a 2 percent cut from each transaction and has received orders for more than 10,000 cards. While transactions are capped at $2,000 a year, users can apply to increase the limit if they undergo identify verification procedures.
The company’s app works as a digital wallet connected to a Visa card. When the user swipes it at a restaurant, the user’s crypto account will be debited while the merchant gets paid in the local currency.
Julian Hosp, co-founder of TenX, says that while the conversion process involves a lot of pathways, transactions are processed immediately and are free of fees other than the conversion fee imposed by the cryptocurrency exchanges. The company purportedly executes about $100,000 in transactions a month, and now supports eight digital currencies aside from Bitcoin. It plans to add three more by the end of the year.
Fenbushi Capital, which lists Vitalik Buterin – Ethereum’s co-founder – as a general partner, led a $1 million seed round in TenX earlier this year. Last month, the company raised $80 million in a coin offering.
Photo: Neil Turner