Revolut, the European fintech startup we wrote about earlier this year, is now gearing up to combine the fiat world and the crypto world. The platform has now begun allowing users to buy and hold the popular cryptocurrencies ethereum, litecoin, and bitcoin at competitive rates. Given Revolut’s large mainstream user base, it could become a game changer.
What Is Revolut?
Revolut is a London-based fintech company that raised $66 million USD in funding as of July of this year. The funding came from venture capital firms Index Ventures, Balderton Capital, and Ribbit Capital.
During this initial funding period, the company claimed that they would eventually offer cryptocurrency services, albeit briefly. A second round of crowd funding followed, giving the company a total startup capital base of $90 million.
Today, the company has built up a business with over 1 million users across Europe and has just begun offering accounts to U.S. citizens.
It offers a unique mobile-centric account system that allows for free and instant person to person money transfers, personal loans, international transaction fee free payments and payment cards, and a litany of other services. Membership is on two tiers, with a free level, and a premium level for just under $10 a month.
Cryptocurrencies Go Live
At the Disrupt Berlin conference on Monday, the company announced that it will shortly be launching its earlier promised cryptocurrency services. The company expects customers can buy and hold Bitcoin and other assets from Thursday 7th December 2017.
The company stated that it will charge one of the lowest fees for cryptocurrency purchases — only 1.5 percent up front, and with no other fees at any time. Compare this to major incumbent Coinbase, which on averages charges between 3-4 percent or more depending on country of origin and payment method.
Users can purchase cryptocurrency using any fiat currency that the platform supports, such as USD, euro, Swiss francs, and 22 others.
The company believes that cryptocurrency is destined to go mainstream. Revolut CEO Storonsky said at Disrupt Berlin that, during a week-long beta test for cryptocurrency services on the platform, 10,000 customers made transactions of over $1 million worth of cryptocurrency.
Larger Impact on the Crypto Space
One of the most important changes that Revolut’s offering could create is a shift in people’s ability to buy cryptocurrency with fiat. A quick search online can reveal millions of people asking the simple question — how do I buy bitcoin? Revolut’s offering could potentially put the power of buying bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin in the hands of millions of people overnight.
Presumably, the Revolut app will also allow people to not only buy cryptocurrency, but also use it directly from the wallet to buy goods and services, or send to others as payment.
Revolut offers payment cards for many of their accounts. What we don’t know, however, is if these payment cards could be linked to draw on a cryptocurrency balance as well. This kind of offering could prove to be a true killer app in the crypto space, as currently, cryptocurrency linked payment cards typically come with sizable transaction fees.
Will Revolut change the way millions interact with cryptocurrency? Is it a service you would sign up for? Let us know below.
Images via Revolut, TechCrunch