For a 0.5% fee, the card lets you debit purchases directly from your LBX cryptocoin balance.
As banks and financial institutions worldwide are getting in on the blockchain trend—including archrival Mastercard—Visa isn’t taking the race lying down. Created by the London Block Exchange (LBX), a UK-based startup offering a cryptocurrency wallet and exchange, the Visa card—called Dragoncard—will enable users to swipe and easily spend their cryptocoins like cash for purchases within the UK. The service will be available in the coming weeks.
Although the system uses cryptocurrencies to fund purchases, merchants receive payments in pound sterling. The card will be linked to users’ LBX wallets and will charge a 0.5% fee to convert their cryptocoins into British pounds through their exchange. The card currently supports Bitcoin SegWit Core (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), and Monero (XMR). Pre-registration is now open but users will have to wait until December 4 to use the card.
In a statement, LBX CEO and founder Ben Dives talked about hindrances investors face when trying to get into the cryptocurrency trade in London, and how they will circumvent such difficulties.
“Despite being the financial capital of the world, London is a difficult place for investors to enter and trade in the cryptocurrency market. We’ll bring it into the mainstream by removing the barriers to access, and by helping people understand and have confidence in what we believe is the future of money.”
By buying user’s coins themselves through their own exchange and flipping them into pounds, LBX circumvents the problem with unstable block confirmation times, especially with the BTC blockchain—where currently over 40,000 unconfirmed transactions are on queue as of writing.
As blockchains threaten to render current financial institutions obsolete, a wave of funding has been thrown around in the industry for blockchain research and development. LBX was able to amass a £2 million funding. ICO’s left and right have also been popping up, hoping to cash in on the trend.