- Bitcoin bounces off key USD 10,000 resistance but steady above USD 9,600
- BitPay has launched a crypto Mastercard in the US
- Binance boss Changpeng Zhao says a global mindset is critical to success of crypto exchanges
Bitcoin trading is no closer to resolution today than it was yesterday, although after just going shy of USD 10,000 by a few dollars, price has now bounced off that critical resistance level to now trade around USD 9,600 (CoinDesk).
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But the sentiment among consumers and investors will certainly have been buoyed today by big news that BitPay, the world’s largest crypto payment service provider in terms of Bitcoin volume, has not launched a crypto Mastercard prepaid card for American users.
Now, Americans can convert their crypto in fiat money, and load it into the BitPay Card that can be used as a Mastercard debit card, acceptable at millions of retailers and online merchants. Better still, users in the US can also use the card at ATMs to make cash withdrawals. BitPay CEO Stephen Pair told Cointelegraph that the focus of the BitPay Card was clearly holders of crypto, and hoped to be seen as a convenient methods to spend their crypto, which otherwise would be very difficult to first convert to fiat before spending. He explained:
“The real goal of the BitPay Card is to provide users with a convenient way to convert their crypto onto a prepaid card. BitPay is a payments company, therefore we are focused on giving people and companies an easy way to conduct commerce using crypto.”
Prepaid crypto cards have long been in demand, especially since Mastercard and Visa both pulled licenses from companies that previously made the crypto card offering quite plentiful. Today, about 36.5 million Americans own digital assets, and BitPay’s own calculations show that with almost 100,000 Bitcoin transactions every month in 2020, there is a lot of potential to explore.
Tim Montgomery, Mastercard vice president of digital partnerships, explained that the firm was always on the look out for flexibility and choice in terms of consumer finances. The partnership with BitPay exemplified this focus. He summed up:
“We’re enabling people to transact in the ways that work best for their individual needs. We will continue to work with fintechs across the globe to accommodate and empower consumer choice, flexibility, and evolving preferences.”
It would seem that blockchain and crypto enterprise is moving forward at such great speed, despite of what some may say as a failure so far of true blockchain adoption, with crypto still difficult to spend as easily as fiat. And the CEO of the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, agrees that crypto exchanges themselves must do more to have a global mindset to expand their successes internationally.
Changpeng Zhao said that many crypto exchanges claim to be global, but upon closer inspection are generally too focused on single regions, usually where their own staff is. This is evident from platforms that only support limited languages, or customer support that is not localized in different languages, and physical events that happen close to where they are. No surprise, he says, that their region is the supplier of the majority of their users.
Yet this task of achieving this global mindset isn’t straightforward. Zhao said:
“If the founder(s) have not lived and worked in multiple places in the world, it’s very hard for them to have a global view. If you have a global mindset, the rest are execution. Execution is also super hard.”
Nevertheless, he said there were four key elements en route to success, beginning with a business model that was sustainable, with a clear path to profitability before scaling quickly.
Zhao said being familiar with audience preferences was the second factor:
“When a company is serving multiple markets, it has to make sure the product offering is tailored to the local markets and keep on providing value or incentives for users to stay with the business. It’s the same for crypto exchange. We should adapt to changes quickly, keep on building and bringing forward innovative products to suit the various and increased demands of local markets.”
Keeping abreast of regulatory compliance as well as accepting the responsibility before customers were other aspects of success. He said there was no way around regulations, and that exchanges would need to work with local governments or regulatory agencies to ensure their consumers trade on their platform without worry. Next to that, the best tech, the best safety of funds, and the best security for client accounts are non-negotiable.
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