Visa Taps Deeper Into Bitcoin Through New Global Partnership With Crypto.com
Today, Hong Kong-based payment and cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com announced a global partnership with Visa that also includes principal membership in Visa’s network in Australia. The company also plans to roll out fiat lending against bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as collateral via the Crypto.com Visa Card
Launched in Singapore in November 2018, the Crypto.com pre-paid Visa Card was one of the first cards tied to bitcoin on the market and is currently the largest Visa program of its kind, with 31 markets covered in Europe, as well as the U.K., Canada, and the U.S., where it launched in July 2019. Users can convert their crypto into one of the supported fiat currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, euro, British pound, and others, pay with their card and make cash withdrawals anywhere Visa is accepted.
With Visa principal membership, Crypto.com will begin direct issuance of the Crypto.com Visa Card in Australia and scale the program to new markets. The company is in the process of shipping cards in Japan and Korea, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. Its ultimate objective is to make the services available everywhere outside of China. The card program offers up to 8% cashback on purchases with no upper limits, a full rebate on Spotify, Netflix
“Visa’s credentials add a lot more utility for crypto assets and enable an easier way to spend them,” says head of crypto at Visa Cuy Sheffield. The success of Crypto.com indicates “the demand that we’re seeing from consumers to be able to access crypto” through Visa’s 70 million merchant network, says Sheffield. The financial services company is currently partnering with 35 various bitcoin and cryptocurrency platforms, including the largest crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase.
Crypto.com also announced the creation of “Spending Power”, a product allowing cardholders to loan and spend fiat against their crypto holdings in wallets registered at the platform. The interest rate is going to be set at 9.9%. As such, users won’t have to sell their bitcoin or other assets. The offering is the latest addition to a booming crypto lending ecosystem with BlockFi, Celsius, and Nexo leading the surge.
Founded in 2016, Crypto.com currently has approximately 10 million users, double the number it had four months ago, across a variety of products and services, also including a cryptocurrency exchange and a DeFi wallet. The startup has not raised an institutional round yet but the company is considering an IPO in 2023, says Crypto.com’s co-founder and CEO Kris Marszalek.
According to Marszalek, the company’s revenue grew 10 times in 2020, although no specific numbers were provided. “In terms of key business metrics like verified users, monthly transacting users, and revenue, we’re estimating to be about one-fifth of Coinbase’s size,” said Marszalek in an email. According to Coinbase’s S-1 filing submitted in February, the crypto exchange had total revenue of $1.24 billion and 2.8 million monthly transacting users in 2020.
This week, Crypto.com announced the upcoming launch of its own NFT platform. “We are investing heavily in the NFT space, as we view this as one of the key drivers” of the industry, says Marszalek.