Bitcoin and other digital cryptocurrencies are becoming more and more like regular money every day.
A London-based startup would like consumers to be able to access cryptocurrencies and use them for everyday purchases in the same way that they use cash or a debit card.
In the next few weeks, London Block Exchange (LBX) plans to unveil their Dragoncard, a Visa debit card that will allow consumers in the UK to spend Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies across the country, just as they would use a regular debit card (sorry, it won’t be available in America quite yet).
The card had been pre-approved by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Dragoncard app will allow users to use Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, or Monero by converting these currencies to sterling. Other cryptocurrencies may be added in the future.
After making the conversion, users will be able to pre-load Dragoncard with funds. Dragoncard will be secured using the same systems as other UK bank cards.
Users will have to pay a one-time £20 fee, plus fees to withdraw from ATMs. When making a purchase at a retailer, the user will also be charged a 0.5% fee for converting the digital currency. LBX, rather than the retailer, will manage the conversion, which may help speed up the notoriously slow cryptocurrency transactions.
LBX’s CEO Ben Dives hopes to make cryptocurrency more “mainstream” by “removing the barriers to access, and by helping people understand and have confidence in what we believe is the future of money.”
LBX’s executive chairman, Adam Bryant, formerly of Credit Suisse, reiterated the idea that cryptocurrencies are the future. “We’re confident we’ll transform this market in the UK,” he said. He believes that LBX “will become the leading cryptocurrency and blockchain consultancy for institutional investors and consumers alike.”
LBX has opened pre-registration for the general public, but institutional investors must be invited.