The Daily: Revolut to Launch in North America, US Startup Presents Telegram Alternative
Digital bank Revolut is planning to expand its operations in America and Russia. Also, payment card provider Fuzex signs an agreement with Dash, a US-based startup offers an alternative to Telegram, and crypto firm Smart Valor receives approval as a financial operator in Switzerland.
Revolut Enters Markets in America, Canada, Russia
UK-based online bank Revolut has some serious plans for expansion this year which include North America and the Russian Federation. Its cofounder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky recently revealed that the waiting list in the US now numbers 60,000 potential customers. Storonsky announced the plans to launch in the United States and Canada during the Techcrunch Disrupt conference noting that his company intends to start issuing its cards no later than December.
Besides the debit card, Revolut offers through its app a checking account and the ability to transfer and spend fiat money globally using an exchange rate excluding forex fees. The service also features a crypto wallet and supports buying, holding and selling cryptocurrencies. The company claims the assets are kept offline, in a cold storage. In August, the digital bank launched a contactless card, Revolut Metal, which comes with higher withdrawal limits and offers cryptocurrency cash back on purchases.
Earlier this summer, this British startup with Russian roots announced its intentions to enter the Russian market, promising to issue multicurrency cards and offer low-cost, bank-free services by the end of 2018. The company plans to use the platform of the Russian payments processor Qiwi and abide by the local law which requires implementing identity verification procedures (KYC). According to media reports, Revolut’s Russian card will support payments and transfers in 130 currencies and worldwide ATM withdrawals.
Fuzex to Add Support for Dash
Fuzex, the payment card project which chose bitcoin cash (BCH) as its base currency, has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dash Core Group that will lead to the integration of the coin into its platform. The new Fuzex card supporting dash payments is expected in the fourth quarter of this year. Commenting on the agreement, the chief executive of Fuzex Jae-Hun Bae said:
Our goal is to grow the Fuzex ecosystem by adding various kinds of cryptocurrency, especially those with the most consistent usability as a currency. By partnering with Dash, we are pleased to offer benefits to the users of the Fuzex card and ecosystem.
Fuzex cards will come equipped with a chip, a magnetic strip, and will also feature an e-paper screen that allows holders to check their balances and switch between up to 30 credit, debit, reward and cryptocurrency accounts. The platform supports a mobile application as well, which allows users to move funds between various accounts.
American Startup Offers Telegram Analogue
A US-based company has presented a new messaging service that offers an alternative to the popular app Telegram. The new messenger is called Stealthy and it was announced during the Disrupt SF 2018 conference in San Francisco. It’s based on the blockchain platform Blockstack. Its users are offered the opportunity to choose the cloud hosting service they want to use to store their encoded messages which are decrypted by the software installed on their devices.
According to its developers, besides allowing encrypted communication, the product can also serve as a platform for decentralized apps. The free application is already available for iOS and Android users. A paid version of the messenger will be offered in the future. It’s worth noting that the Stealthy logo, depicting a white paper plane on a light blue background, strongly resembles that of Telegram.
Crypto Firm Smart Valor Approved as Financial Operator in Switzerland
Smart Valor, a Switzerland-based crypto and blockchain startup, has received approval from the country’s regulators to operate in the Swiss financial market, Reuters reported. The decision will allow the company to launch its own online platform supporting investments in tokenized digital assets by the end of this year. The firm also intends to apply for a banking license in early 2019 as part of plans to expand its offerings to include securities investments.
The approval of Smart Valor as a financial intermediary means the group will be supervised for compliance with Switzerland’s anti-money laundering (AML) rules and regulations. However, it will not be directly supervised by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) but by the Financial Services Standards Association (VQF), a self-regulatory organization approved by the watchdog to deal with AML compliance. Smart Valor is already a member of the association.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Revolut, Stealthy.
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