Xapo is a California-based company that provides a bitcoin wallet combined with a cold storage vault and a bitcoin-based debit card.

Xapo is a Switzerland-based company that provides a bitcoin wallet combined with a cold storage vault and a bitcoin-based debit card.

Xapo CEO and entrepreneur Wences Casares became interested in bitcoins because of the frequent financial fluctuations in his native Argentina.[3] He has said that his family’s finances were “devastated as the economy (in Argentina) rocketed from inflation to deflation to devaluation.”[3] Casares believes that digital currencies such as bitcoin “could solve the disjointed nature of our world economy.”[4]

In 2011, Casares bought his first bitcoins but couldn’t find a way to store them, so he built a ‘vault’ for his own use.[1] Friends, and later financial institutions, soon asked Casares if they could store their bitcoins in his vault.[1] This became the foundation for Xapo, which was founded in late 2013 by Casares and COO Federico Murrone.[1] Xapo opened its products to the public in March 2014.[1]

Casares said Xapo was founded with the aim of making the bitcoin currency more secure and accessible.[3] The Xapo Wallet operates through a mobile app and online and includes the ability to transfer funds to and from the Xapo Vault.[3] In April 2014, Xapo introduced a debit card that will link to the user’s Xapo Wallet and will function like a standard debit card, except that it is backed by bitcoins instead of traditional currency.[2]

Prior to Xapo, Casares founded and later sold online brokerage firm Patagon to Banco Santander for $750 million.[5] He also launched the first Internet provider in his home country of Argentina in 1994.[6]

In May 2015 Xapo moved its headquarters from Palo Alto, California to Zurich in Switzerland

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