In a move differentiating itself from other digital banks in its cohort, London-based Revolut has finally announced the launch of its long-anticipated capability to exchange cryptocurrencies in-app.
The digital bank, a fintech that already enables users to hold, transfer, and exchange money in USD and 24 foreign currencies through its platform, said it wants to bring “cryptocurrency exposure to everyone at the touch of a button.”
The new feature, allowing for the exchange of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, went live for all of Revolut’s European customers last month, coming just as the world’s cryptocurrency market worth overall surpassed that of JP Morgan.
The aspiring ‘global banking alternative’ said it will apply a competitive markup of 1.5% to each transaction, promising there would be no other hidden fees or charges—because the app allows customers to buy cryptocurrencies through any of the app’s 25 base currencies, there won’t even foreign exchange fees.
In comparison, Coinbase—the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S.—passes on exchange rates, the cost of cryptocurrency ecosystem maintenance, conversion and processing fees to its customers, like what it costs to pay Bitcoin miners for their work on the blockchain.
The new feature will also allow customers to effectively spend cryptocurrencies in stores, as the debit card will automatically convert the necessary amount of cryptocurrency to fiat to cover any transaction if you run out of fiat currency in your account.
Current customers can unlock the new functionality either by inviting three friends to the digital bank’s platform, or by signing up for its Premium account for £6.99 a month, according to a blog post.
According to TechCrunch, 10,000 Revolut customers traded $1 million in cryptocurrency in a week-long beta test of the new crypto feature prior to its release.
Revolut first announced its intention to open up cryptocurrency trading functionalities in August, saying it hoped its product would help accelerate cryptocurrency adoption, but the product’s execution took longer than the company anticipated.
Launched mid-2015, Revolut has reportedly hit the milestone of one million customers and processed over $6.5 billion in transactions to date. Last month, the digital-only bank announced its application for a European banking license. The startup plans to launch stateside and in Australia, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong by the end of Q1 2018.
Cadence is a fintech reporter and writer at Fintech Unltd, where she covers the changing landscape of financial technologies. Previously, Cadence interned at Psychology Today, Business Insider and the Wisconsin State Journal. Cadence is interested in how science and technology intersect with power and culture and is curious about the world we are creating for tomorrow, consciously or not. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2017 with degrees in Journalism and Chinese. Send tips and story ideas to Cadence at [email protected] You can also follow her on Twitter @cadencebambenek.