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Uphold to Roll Out Crypto Debit Card in Europe by April 2021

| Updated
by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
Uphold to Roll Out Crypto Debit Card in Europe by April 2021
Photo: Depositphotos

The new crypto card by Uphold will also include some of its supported assets like the US equities, carbon credits, and precious metals.

Cloud-based digital money platform Uphold is planning to launch a multi-asset crypto card in Europe with the acquisition of card issuer Optimus Cards UK Limited. The digital money platform will begin to roll-out the crypto-enabled debit cards starting from April 2021.

Acquisition of Optimus Cards UK

Uphold revealed the acquisition of Optimus Cards and plans to launch its crypto cards in an announcement published on the 2nd of February.

JP Thieriot, Uphold CEO, expressed his excitement over the new acquisition. He said:

“We’re delighted to have acquired an issuer with such a technically-sophisticate platform and a full EMI license. These attributes will shortly allow us to issue multi-asset, crypto-enabled debit cards across the U.K. and Europe.”

The CEO further noted that Uphold had observed the FCA’s “Change In Control” process. He added that the Uphold would help “scale Optimus’s thriving EMD agency business, which already supports several major crypto and fintech ecosystems.”

In addition, Thieriot said Uphold’s European customers would be able to receive a part of all their salary in Bitcoin or any other crypto of their choice in the near future. He further stated that the customers would also be able to spend the received cryptocurrencies using their Uphold Cards, backed by Optimus.

The new crypto card by Uphold will also include some of its supported assets like the US equities, carbon credits, and precious metals.

Optimus is one of the prominent issuers of both debit and credit cards in the UK and Europe. The firm is an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) regulated by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Optimus has evolved over the past years and now offers customers services in the fintech and Credit Union sectors. The Optimus platform supports App Pay, Open Banking, Google Pay, and also non-contact and virtual cards.

In the announcement, Uphold did not highlight the financial details of the acquisition.

Uphold Crypto Debit Card in the US

In March 2020, Uphold announced its crypto debit card in the US, supporting 24 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, 27 fiat currencies, and four precious metals. Other assets supported by the Uphold’s debit card in the U.S. include Basic Attention Token (BAT), Ripple’s XRP, gold, and the US dollars.

At the time of the roll-out, he told Cointelegraph in an interview that the card would be compatible anywhere in the world where MasterCard Inc (NYSE: MA) is accepted.

During the recent announcement of the debut of its card in Europe, Thieriot said:

“The card has already proved a hit with our U.S. customers offering a unique combination of utility, convenience and crypto-back rewards.”

In 2019, Uphold partnered with crypto-backed lending company Salt to offer cash or stablecoins loans to customers with cryptocurrency as collateral. Following the partnership, Uphold’s chief revenue officer said that Uphold users who are hodling cryptocurrencies have access to the funds without selling their digital assets.

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Ibukun Ogundare

Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.

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