This week, a London-based startup, The London Block Exchange (LBX), announced that they would be making a cryptocurrency debit card available to users, which will make the process of spending and keep track of cryptocurrency accounts much more manageable. The project will be managed by several prominent figures in the financial world, including the former Credit Suisse banker, Adam Bryant.
After LBX launched this week, it immediately unveiled its plans to create a debit card, called Dragoncard, which will allow its owners to spend a variety of different cryptocurrencies, including Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin, Monero, and Ethereum within the UK. LBX has also stated that they hope to add support for other altcoins soon. The card will convert cryptocurrency to the pound sterling and will only be available to UK-based users.
Wavecrest will provide the VISA-based card. Wavecrest mainly releases fiat currency debit cards. Dragoncard, however, will be used in conjunction with an app, which will enable users not only to spend their cryptocurrency but to buy more on the LBX. The card will also allow users to draw fiat currency from their cards using a conventional ATM. Once the card receives a request, it will be able to convert cryptocurrency into pound sterling automatically.
CEO and founder of LBX, Ben Dives created the card when he identified a lack of cryptocurrency spending methods in the UK. Dives mentioned in his statement that London remains largely hostile and reluctant towards the cryptocurrency community, despite it being one of the largest financial hubs in the world.
Dives expressed his hope that the launch of Dragoncard will cause Londoners to warm up to the idea of cryptocurrency. According to Dives, once UK-based users have a more interactive way of spending and trading in cryptocurrency, it is likely that the financial technology would become more popular in the country.
To date, LBX managed to raise over £2 million from several different investors from the private sector. Before creating the concept of LBX, Dives is perhaps most known for his famous brainstorming app, Ideaflip.
Adam Bryant, who previously worked at both Credit Suisse and UBS will act as LBX’s executive chairman. Bryant is already well-known and well-versed in the world of banking after spending almost two decades Credit Suisse, as well as some time at UBS, before joining LBX. Bryant was responsible for managing the macro hedge fund at both firms.
According to Bryant, Dragoncard will prove a more mature and rewarding experience for users who are interested in learning about and partaking in the cryptocurrency industry. Bryant expressed the firm’s confidence that Dragoncard and LBX will play a large part in transforming the current financial landscape within Britain. Bryant concluded by stating that he hopes that LBX becomes the UK’s leading blockchain consulting firm for both individual investors as well as institutional investors.
Current fee systems dictate that LBX users will be charges 0.5% upon every cryptocurrency exchange made on its service. Users wishing to own a Dragoncard will be required to pay £20 upfront. Also, Wavecrest will charge a nominal fee for every ATM withdrawal.
LBX’s announcement was perfectly timed, as the past weekend proved a record-breaking one for cryptocurrencies. In the last year alone, BTC demonstrated a growth rate of 500%, and the entire cryptocurrency market continues to flourish. The total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency industry is creeping closer and closer to the $200 billion mark, partly due to the equally blossoming ICO sector.
LBX might have beat other firms to it, but it’s probably not the only firm with plans to introduce cryptocurrency debit cards within the UK. The popular platform Revolut has been developing cryptocurrency trading opportunities that users can access via its app, and there have been several reports of the company wishing to introduce a cryptocurrency debit card. However, this is yet to be confirmed.