Crypto platform Uphold has acquired Optimus Cards UK Limited, a debit and credit card issuer across the UK and Europe.
Uphold is a digital money platform serving almost 5 million customers in more than 150 countries. The company claims to manage more than $1 billion in customer assets. Leveraging blockchain technology, the platform provides both consumers and businesses with easy access to 38 digital assets, 27 national currencies, four precious metals and 50 fractional U.S. equities. Uphold’s unique trading experience – ‘Anything-to-Anything’ – allows customers to trade directly between asset classes, saving time and money. Uphold supports financial inclusion by enabling customers virtually anywhere to open an account in less than a minute and trade with no minimum investment amounts.
An Electronic Money Institution (EMI) regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Optimus acts as a primary card issuer (including FX multi-currency) and payments facilitator. Today, the firm serves customers in the FinTech and Credit Union sectors offering a sophisticated platform that supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, Open Banking, as well as contactless and virtual cards, IBANs, UK sort-code and accounts, plus ‘cardless’ cash withdrawal.
JP Thieriot, CEO of Uphold, said that they’re delighted to have acquired an issuer with such a technically-sophisticated platform and a full EMI license.
“These attributes will shortly allow us to issue multi-asset, crypto-enabled debit cards across the UK and Europe,” said Thieriot. “After passing the FCA’s rigorous ‘Change In Control’ process, we’re very excited to get to work and help scale Optimus’s thriving EMD agency business, which already supports several major crypto and fintech ecosystems.”
Thieriot said that that they are planning to roll out the world’s first, multi-asset, crypto-enabled debit card on the Optimus platform in Europe, adding that the card has already proved a hit with their U.S. customers offering a unique combination of utility, convenience and crypto-back rewards.
“The combination of Optimus’s tech-forward card platform and Uphold’s unique multi-asset wallet should create a compelling product,” said Thieriot. “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 using Uphold Cards issued through Optimus.”
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