Revolut adds BCH and Ripple to its crypto-offerings

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  • Ripple and Bitcoin Cash added to Revolut’s offering
  • Adds to trading in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin

The London-headquartered international money transfers fintech startup Revolut has announced that it will now add Ripple and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its cryptocurrency offerings.

It’s fair to say that most remittance business watchers wouldn’t count cryptocurrency as a primary focus for Revolut but by sliding in these new offerings, the challenger bank is taking a calculated bet that cryptos haven’t reached their full consumer and enterprise potential, so it’s a clever way of getting started in the digital coin payment market.

Users who hold Revolut accounts will now be able to buy and hold a raft of cryptocurrencies. In addition to BCH and Ripple, the company trades in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. That this is a serious initiative is reflected in the fact that Revolut has quietly partnered with the Luxembourg-based Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp to process the crypto transactions. At the time of writing, Revolut is enabling 100,000 digital token transactions every day, a figure that is almost certain to climb.

Unlike conventional cryptocurrency marketplaces, users won’t be able to send or receive cryptocurrencies from their Revolut accounts. They’re not supplied with a bitcoin address, for example. Instead, the app simply makes it easy for users to buy tokens, whereupon (if thye want to send them elsewhere) they’re required to sell them for conventional currencies like AUD, USD and GBP. Next, they use their fiat currencies to purchase cryptocurrencies.

This is the latest of a flurry of initiatives from this creatively hyperactive startup. In recent weeks, for example, Revolut launched Vaults, a digital repository that allows customers to make savings. Every time customers buy something using their Revolut cards, the startup rounds up the transaction to the nearest whole number and then transfers the difference – their spare change, in effect - into their savings Vault. If you can’t resist that tempting cappuccino on the way to work and you use your Revolut card to pay, say $3.47, for it, Revolut automatically places 53 cents in your Vault.

Customers receive an automatic push notification on their smartphones each time this happens, allowing them to see at a glance how much they just saved and how much is in their Vault account. It also allows customers to set up an automatic weekly or monthly recurring payment that pays a specified amount into the Vault.

An interesting feature is that users can choose the currency of their Vaults. That means you can choose to buy cryptos with a combination of spare change and weekly payments. We think that’s pretty ingenious way of hedging against the still-notorious volatility of cryptocurrencies.

Revolut, which bills itself as a challenger bank, also offers services like a cross-border payments app, a debit card and travel insurance. To date, the startup says that 20% of its 1.95 million customers have started using the crypto feature, and it confidently predicts that this proportion will grow because of the new virtual tokens it’s adding.

Is that a fair forecast? Growth trends may hit the buffers in this field if prices for Bitcoin and other cryptos fall. There are also growing numbers of rival companies dipping their toes into the crypto market. For now, however, the move seems to be driving things along handsomely: since October, when it first announced its digital offerings, Revolut has more than doubled its user base.

Andrea Barnes
Andrea is Communications Manager at FXcompared. Prior to joining FXcompared, she worked as a communications consultant for companies seeking guidance with their social media, marketing and digital… Read more

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