In brief

  • Wirex is the first crypto-native partner for Mastercard.
  • The company claims it has signed up more than 10,000 customers within hours of opening its waitlist for the new crypto debit card today.
  • Wirex plans to begin UK distribution in November, and the US soon after.

Wirex, the London-based crypto-native payments platform, has signed up more than 10,000 people to its multi-currency Mastercard since opening the waitlist this morning, a company spokesperson said. And the firm is now poised to launch a single currency Visa crypto debit card in the US in December. 

The company, which is the first crypto-native partner for Mastercard, today began signing up new customers for the card’s EEA rollout. It will begin distribution of the multi-currency debit card in the UK starting in November, with the remaining European markets in early 2021. The company said demand for the new platform is surpassing expectations. 

“We’re very excited to say that we have a launch in the US planned for December this year, and Japan early next year as well, which we expect to be very well received given the interest we have had from crypto-enthusiasts and fintech fans alike in the region,” a spokesperson for Wirex told Decrypt via email. 

The waitlist is also gamified, therefore potential customers on the waitlist can share the waitlist on their social media networks and therefore move further up the list if they want to be one of the first customers. 

The multi-currency debit Mastercard is linked to 19 secure currency accounts in the Wirex app and allows users to seamlessly spend fiat or cryptocurrency anywhere that Mastercard is accepted without exchanging or offboarding.

The company's Mastercard offering differs from the single currency Visa card in this way: If a customer wants to use a single currency debit card, the cardholder can exchange other currencies, like British pounds or euros, inside the app and convert them into the local reference currency. But both single and multi-currency cards allow users to spend crypto in-store.

Wirex has not finalized which type of card will be launched in Japan. Wirex previously launched a multi-currency Visa card in Europe in November 2019.

The firm believes that its tech is "encouraging the merchant adoption of digital assets, as well as giving the ability for cash to be withdrawn from an ATM using the debit card, using crypto funds held in your Wirex account,” the spokesperson said. 

Encouraging merchant adoption is no doubt music to the ears of most Bitcoin users, especially given the confirmation from PayPal today that it will begin integrating cryptocurrencies on its payments platform.

Wirex, which has 3.1 million total customers in the EEA and APAC, is currently exploring future merchant deals with large global payment providers, the spokesperson said. Wirex originally announced the Mastercard agreement in July and already offers a similar card with Visa. 

The company is also working on an upgrade of its rewards program, called Cryptoback, allowing customers to get 2% Cryptoback rewards on their Wirex card spending and 6% on customer WXT balance annually. 

 

Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported that Wirex was set to launch a multi-currency Mastercard in the US. The company is, in fact, launching a single currency Visa card in the US, and a Mastercard in Europe. We regret the error.