European crypto card provider Wirex has been awarded an e-money license by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. The accreditation will allow the company to create e-money accounts in more than two dozen different currencies. Wirex hopes to secure similar licenses in Asia and North America.
Wirex to Create E-Money Accounts in 25 Currencies
Wirex Limited, a major provider of cryptocurrency debit cards in Europe, has been granted an e-money license by the Financial Conduct Authority. The watchdog regulates over 56,000 companies and 125,000 approved persons in the United Kingdom.
In a tweet, Wirex says it is only the third company to have received the license so far and notes the importance of the development. It explains in a post published on its website that “gaining the FCA license will open up a much broader market,” giving the platform an opportunity to create e-money accounts in over 25 different currencies.
The fintech firm also revealed it is currently developing offerings in Asia, including Singapore and Japan, as well as in North America. It did not say, however, when exactly users in these markets will be able to take advantage of its services. According to previous reports, its contactless cryptocurrency cards were supposed to be launched in Asia during the second quarter of 2018.
The London-headquartered company became the first to reintroduce crypto debit cards in Europe after they were suspended by Visa last year. It offers both virtual and physical cards in around 30 countries from the European Economic Aria. Wirex started shipping the plastics to customers in the UK and Europe in May.
The cards initially supported bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC) and instant exchange with GBP, USD, and EUR. Last month Wirex announced the addition of ripple (XRP). The cards come with a chip and Cryptoback rewards. The virtual Visas offer deposits in a number of altcoins through a proprietary wallet. Wirex claims it has 1.8 million clients and says it has facilitated transactions worth $2 billion.
Bringing Crypto to the Mainstream
The company expects the new accreditation to boost trust in its platform and improve its reputation on the global stage. “Acquiring an FCA license has been our ambition since we started the company, so we’re thrilled to be at this point,” said Wirex co-founder Dmitry Lazarichev. “The license gives us the freedom to optimize our e-money offering, which will lead to lower costs and fees for our customers,” he detailed in a press release.
According Wirex’s other co-founder, Pavel Matveev, the company has a robust approach to security and compliance and is working closely with regulators around the world. “We’re on a path of continuous improvement and focusing on these important milestones is key to achieving our ambitious global expansion plans. The FCA e-money license is just the first step to creating a broad and versatile offering that meets the varying needs of consumers worldwide,” he said.
Matveev expressed his satisfaction with the FCA accreditation and emphasized that Wirex wants to bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream while providing a solution for managing both crypto and fiat funds. The UK-based crypto company noted that the license has taken 9 months to acquire. It seems the long application process has been worth it as Wirex believes the internationally-recognized credentials from the British regulator will help assure customers the platform is maintaining high compliance standards.
Wirex’s FCA license is the last in a series of positive crypto developments in Great Britain. Last week, Crypto Facilities, a crypto futures exchange regulated by the same authority, announced the launch of the first bitcoin cash – dollar (BCH/USD) futures. In early August, US-based crypto exchange Coinbase revealed its UK customers will be able to buy cryptocurrencies with British pounds (GBP). According to a recently published report, the United Kingdom has what it takes to become a leader in the crypto industry.
What do you think about Wirex acquiring an e-money license in the UK? Share your thoughts on this development in the comments section below.