The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has granted an e-money licence to crypto-related Wirex, online publication Finance Magnates has reported.
The London-based company was founded in 2014 under the name E-Coin and was rebranded in February 2016. Its main product is a pre-paid cryptocurrency payment card, which supports Bitcoin (BTC) and over 50 altcoins, including Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP). The digital coins in the card can be converted into pounds, euros and dollars to enable everyday payments.
The company said that the e-licence would allow it to add support for 25 additional currencies.
“The licence will not materially affect how we engage with our current clients, although they will benefit from more streamlined services and potentially even lower rates than we currently offer,” the company’s co-founder Dmitry Lazarichev said, as quoted by Finance Magnates.
Having received operational licence from the FCA, Wirex is now eyeing expansion to further its expansion to overseas markets. The company’s other co-founder, Pavel Matveev, revealed the firm was pursuing additional licences in Singapore, Japan and North America. The firm currently has offices in London, Toronto, Tokyo, Singapore, Delaware and Kiev.
For the FCA, this marks the third time it has granted e-money licence to a crypto-related company. Earlier this year, the watchdog granted such licence to the largest US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. The company said at the time that the licence would allow the company “to issue e-money and provide payment services in the UK”. The firm’s UK head Zeeshan Feroz explained that the UK was a “huge market for us” and that the company intended to “invest significantly” in its local operation.
As a result of gaining the e-money licence, Coinbase has been able to add support for pounds to its services, making it easier for its UK customers to buy digital currencies.