Crypto Startup Wirex Granted UK E-Money License; Plans Asia, N America Expansion

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Wirex Ltd., a cryptocurrency services provider, has been granted an e-money license by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), opening up a much broader market and allowing the company to offer services supporting over 25 different sovereign currencies.

Wirex mobile app
Wirex mobile app

Wirex is now pursuing similar accreditation in other countries and is the process of developing offerings in Asia, including Singapore and Japan, as well as North America, the company said on Thursday.

Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev said that working closely with regulators around the world was testament to the company’s robust approach to security and compliance.

“Focusing on these important milestones is key to achieving our ambitious global expansion plans. The FCA e-money license is just the first step to creating a broad and versa-tile offering that meets the varying needs of consumers worldwide,” Matveev said.

“We are aiming to bring crypto to the mainstream while also providing an innovative, complete solution for managing both crypto and fiat money day-to-day. We’re delighted to be able to take this next step and push forward with these internationally-recognized credentials in place.”

Wirex is developing a “hybrid personal banking solution” that supports both sovereign currencies including GBP, USD and EUR, and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, litecoin, and dash. Today, the company provides a digital platform that allows users to manage and spend their funds hassle-free, in addition to exchange services and payments solutions. The Wirex digital wallet comes with a linked Visa debit card.

The company said in a blog post that the e-money license “will boost trust in Wirex and cement our reputation as a global player.” The license “sets Wirex apart from the unregulated, often insalubrious world of initial coin offerings (ICOs),” it said in a separate statement.

Dmitry Lazarichev, co-founder of Wirex, noted that acquiring an FCA license had been the company’s ambition since launching the company.

“The license gives us the freedom to optimize our e-money offering, which will lead to lower costs and fees for our customers,” Lazarichev said, adding that the permit “assures users that Wirex is trustworthy and committed to maintaining high compliance standards in its business operations.”

Wirex has offices in London, Singapore, Tokyo, Delaware, Toronto and Kiev, and claims 1.8 million users and US$2 billion in transactions to date.