UK challenger bank Revolut has expanded its cryptocurrency offering to all of its users as an alternative to government-backed fiat currencies. As governments around the world push stimulus packages, including the printing of new money—known as quantitative easing—Revolut argued that Bitcoin offers an alternative, because it has a fixed supply.
“During a recent presentation, our Head of Crypto, Edward Cooper, reminded us that cryptocurrencies came about as an alternative to real money during the times of quantitative easing and currency devaluation following the 2008 financial crisis. Given the recent economic upset, we are starting to see quantitative easing and currency devaluation happening again right now,” Revolut stated in an email to its customers.
"We had planned to make this official later this year, but in light of recent events, we've decided to give all Revolut customers the opportunity to explore different ways of diversifying, including through crypto, right now," it added.
All Revolut standard users will now be able to use the service to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which they can keep within the app. It will make its Gold feature available to standard users in April too. The app has seven million users according to PYMNTS.
Last week, the US unveiled a $2 trillion stimulus package to quell economic woes. The Federal Reserve has been printing money at a rate of $1 million per second—that’s Bitcoin’s entire market cap every 35 hours.
And it doesn’t look like it will end any time soon. Last month, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, said that the Federal Reserve has an “infinite amount of cash.”
"I think once the dust settles of liquidations, margin calls, and outright panic, Bitcoin will start to show its strength against unlimited fiat printing," Alan Silbert, managing director at INX, told Decrypt at the time.
But there’s a catch
Still, while Revolut's crypto expansion is well timed and designed to appeal to those in the crypto community, not everyone is so eager to pounce on the deal.
According to several Redditors, Revolut's feature involves multiple pitfalls.
"Sadly you cannot move your crypto out of the Revolut ecosystem and into your own wallet. Great news but defeats the purpose of being your own bank," wrote one Redditor.
Another added that a price premium on the service outweighed the benefits. "It costs £200 more than the spot price," they said.
But if there’s one thing Revolut can’t do, it’s print new Bitcoin at will.