Uphold to launch crypto cards in Europe with new acquisition

Uphold, an American digital wallet and trading platform, has acquired European card issuer Optimus Cards UK Limited to launch a cryptocurrency-enabled card on the continent.

According to a February 2 announcement, Uphold plans to launch its crypto-powered debit card in Europe from April 2021. JP Thieriot, CEO of Uphold, said the launch in Europe follows a successful launch in the US:

“Starting in April, we plan to launch the world’s first multi-asset crypto-enabled debit card on the Optimus platform in Europe. The card has already proven to be a success with our US customers and offers a unique combination of benefits, convenience and crypto-back rewards. “

“Very soon, our European customers will be able to receive part or all of their salary in Bitcoin – or any asset of their choice – and spend it on upold cards issued by Optimus,” Thieriot said.

The new card will contain some of the assets supported by Uphold’s platform – including cryptos, precious metals, US stocks and carbon credits.

Optimus is one of the largest debit and credit card companies in the UK and Europe. The company is regulated as an e-money institution by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and acts as the primary card issuer and payment intermediary. Optimus’ services are compatible with major platforms such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as contactless and virtual cards.

Uphold did not disclose the cost of the acquisition in the announcement. The company did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

As previously reported, in March 2020, Uphold announced its multi-asset debit card in the US, which supports 24 crypto-assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), 27 fiat currencies and four precious metals.

In July 2020, Binance – the world’s largest crypto exchange – unveiled its crypto card in Europe after acquiring the Swipe wallet.