Uphold to Launch European Crypto Debit Card

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  • Uphold is to launch a European version of its crypto debit card in April
  • The card can accept a user’s salary in any supported cryptocurrency which can then be spent using the card
  • Uphold users in the U.S. have been using the card since March last year

Uphold, the popular U.S.-based crypto and commodity exchange, is set to expand its cryptocurrency debit card offering to Europeans following the acquisition of Optimus Cards, a British debit and credit card issuer. Americans have been able to use the Uphold debit card since last March, but the buyout of Optimus will allow Uphold to offer cards in the UK and Europe.

Uphold Acquires Optimus

Uphold is a popular on and offramp for crypto users, offering direct transfers into bank accounts worldwide, alongside forex, metals, and stock trading. The San Francisco company enjoyed a spectacular 2020, adding more than two million customers and growing its reserves to more than $2 billion. The acquisition of Optimus is therefore a natural step in their evolution and will allow Uphold users more flexibility with the assets they hold on the platform.

Uphold CEO JP Thieriot said in a press release announcing the move that the acquisition would be beneficial for both themselves and Optimus:

We’re delighted to have acquired an issuer with such a technically-sophisticated platform and a full EMI license. These attributes will shortly allow us to issue multi-asset, crypto-enabled debit cards across the UK and Europe. After passing the FCA’s rigorous ‘Change In Control’ process, we’re very excited to get to work and help scale Optimus’s thriving EMD agency business, which already supports several major crypto and fintech ecosystems.

Users Can Receive Salary in Crypto

Europeans can look forward to getting their hands on Uphold debit cards in April, Thieriot added, saying that the card has “already proved a hit with our U.S. customers offering a unique combination of utility, convenience and crypto-back rewards.” The Uphold crypto debit card will allow users to receive and spend part or all of their salary in Bitcoin or any other supported cryptocurrency, something that could appeal to those who have to pay heavy onboarding fees if they want to buy crypto with their salary, although the fees for the Uphold debit card are yet to be revealed.