Uphold, a US digital wallet and trading platform, has acquired European card issuer Optimus Cards UK Limited to launch a cryptocurrency-backed card on the continent.
According to the February 2 announcement, Uphold plans to roll out a cryptocurrency debit card in Europe from April 2021. Uphold CEO JP Thieriot said the launch in Europe follows the success in the US:
“From April we are planning to release the world’s first debit card with activated cryptocurrency multi-capital on the Optimus platform in Europe. The card has already proven itself with our clients in the United States, offering a unique set of benefits, convenience and rewards for cryptocurrency. … ”
“Very soon, our European customers will be able to get some or all of their payrolls in bitcoin – or whatever asset they choose – and use them with stay cards issued through Optimus,” Terriot said.
The new card will contain some of the assets supported by the Uphold platform, including cryptocurrencies, precious metals, US stocks, and carbon credits.
Optimus is one of the largest debit and credit card issuers in the UK and Europe. The company is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority as an electronic financial institution 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 virtual and contactless cards.
Stay did not disclose the acquisition cost in the ad. The company did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
As previously reported, Uphold announced its multi-asset debit card in the US in March 2020, supporting 24 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), 27 fiat currencies, and four precious metals.
In July 2020, Binance – the world’s largest crypto exchange – launched its cryptocurrency card in Europe after acquiring a swipe book.