Interviews 17 January 2019Charles Miller
Elizabeth White: Making crypto easier to use in the real world
Elizabeth White has already shown that the extravagant valuations associated with cryptocurrencies, until about a year ago at least, can be translated into a business built on extravagant luxuries.
As the founder of the White Company, based in New York, White set out to let the holders of crypto – which she and her friends were – easily buy the luxury goods their new-found wealth allowed them to dream of.
White’s background was in ritzy brands and auto racing. She used that experience to sell cars for crypto. To date, she says her company has sold 51 cars, including a veritable traffic jam of Lamborghinis and a £4 million vintage Ferrari. But it’s not just cars: White can fix you up with a wide range of items, as long as they’re exclusive, and expensive. How about an Ai Weiwei artwork for $1.7 million, which she sold recently?
Now the White Company is expanding in new directions. It has announced a partnership with Mastercard, to create its own crypto-based debit card, the White Card. The initiative is part of a bigger plan to develop blockchain applications for business:
“Anywhere a solution is needed is what we are looking to provide,” says White, “How can we make it easier, simpler for crypto holders to use it in the real world? How can we make it easier for merchants to accept it? How can we make other projects on blockchain or that are using cryptocurrency be able to leverage what we’ve already developed – to use our technology, actually move forward with …instead of burning all their funds at the beginning to try to build technology that we’ve already built?”
As to how the traditional payments providers will respond to new crypto-competitors, White’s colleague Edgar Radjabli predicts “some pretty stiff competition” to the large credit card networks from blockchain-based alternatives with lower transaction fees. In the meantime, the White Card, as the company’s partnership with Mastercard is called, is “definitely the next evolution of the useability of cryptocurrency”.
Listen to the latest CoinGeek Conversation podcast with Elizabeth White and Edgar Radjabli to find out more about how the White Company is developing crypto products designed to make an impact in the real world:
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Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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