As the fortunes and opportunities in the cryptocurrency market continue to expand and excite many around the world, a new startup has announced that it is working to make cryptocurrency a mainstream mode of payment just like cash and credit cards.
Crypterium, a nascent cryptocurrency startup announced last week that it is working to allow consumers spend their cryptocurrencies seamlessly in paying for everyday products and services. The company made the announcement through Marc O’Brien who was recently appointed as CEO.
O’Brien, a former Visa CEO (UK and Ireland) said he and his team planned to do this by increasing the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Litecoin, etc as currencies and legitimate payment methods.
“The idea is that cryptocurrency is actually quite difficult today to use as an everyday method of payment. If you were to go to an exchange with your bitcoin or your ether it would probably take you 3 to 7 days to get that money paid out into a normal bank account. What Crypterium will do is make that whole process seamless and give an opportunity for a consumer to actually use their cryptocurrency to pay for everyday items.”
According to CCN, the short-term strategy of the startup is to leverage the experience of O’Brien in the traditional finance industry and his connections in the credit card service sector to secure a strategic partnership with Visa or Mastercard and release cryptocurrency-backed debit cards.
“That card will be attached to a wallet that we’ve created and every time the consumer makes a transaction we will receive a request for that transaction in our systems, we will check the bitcoin or ether account and provided that they’ve got sufficient balance we will execute a trade and mark their bitcoin balance for a trade and approve the transaction. You can be in a store and all of that’s done in a fraction of a second,” O’Brien explained.
Indeed, Crypterium is not the first startup that would attempt to allow cryptocurrency owners process their payments on the go by issuing cryptocurrency debit cards. In the recent past, the launch of cryptocurrency debit cards by companies such as Xapo, TenX, and Coins.ph have been shortlived due to Visa’s 2017 crack down on cryptocurrency debit cards.
Visa in a press release last year said that it had to shut down the cryptocurrency backed debit card because the services were initiated through third party service provider without the permission of Visa.
A startup like Crypterium could however make a headway where others failed, if it secures a direct partnership with major financial service providers like Visa or Mastercard.