Starting Thursday, the London-based digital banking alternative, Revolut, is enabling cardholders worldwide to buy, sell, exchange and reserve cryptocurrencies along with 25 fiat currencies. Today at TechCrunch’s Disrupt Berlin conference, Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky announced that Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether are available and accessible on their prepaid debit card. If there’s no fiat currency available in their balance, it will automatically convert their cryptos to the correlating amount needed to make a purchase. This can all be managed within the Revolut App. The company made its name for simplifying traditional banking by eliminating or greatly reducing fees associated with global transactions and is now stepping into the auspicious realm of cryptocurrencies. Storonsky spoke on this next step saying:
Despite being one of the hottest trends in the world right now, getting exposure to cryptocurrency has notoriously been time-consuming and expensive. We’re going to open up cryptocurrency exposure to everyone, faster than any other platform on the market.
He also mentioned that in just under a week, 10,000 customers signed up for Revolut’s beta and traded $1 million of cryptocurrency. It’s no surprise that Storonsky was confident to include alternative options such as Bitcoin into the mix. This new feature is exclusive and disruptive by allowing customers to access cryptos in all 25 base currencies. In addition, most exchanges generally charge higher FX fees with crypto transactions. Revolut promises to only have a flat 1.5% markup for these types of exchanges with no hidden fees. Customers can also transfer their currencies to other users and send a max of €5,000 (about $5,900) per month in 16 currencies free of charge.
Despite being a startup with only 2 years under its belt, Revolut has grown quickly. Their system has saved $160 million of FX fees for its current 1,000,000 customers tallying 42 million transactions in total. Compared to last quarter, they now have twice the amount of new customer sign ups and could continue with this newest addition to their currency family.
With the value of Bitcoin soaring and a growing awareness of cryptocurrencies, it’s realistic to consider the likelihood that they will play a significant role in the future economy. Revolut is attempting to stay ahead of the game by offering the option now while traditional institutions fall behind. We’ll have to see how this works out in the long run but from the sounds of it, this could be a good move for their emerging digital banking platform.
At the time of publishing, we have not received a statement from the CEO but will update the blog as soon as we obtain additional information.