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Crypto startup Wirex receives e-money licence from UK FCA

Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 09:51 am UTC

Wirex, a London-based provider of crypto wallets linked to Visa debit cards, has announced that it has been granted a UK FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) e-money licence.

The firm said that it is the third cryptocurrency-enabled company to receive the license. Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev said that the e-money license will allow the company to better serve its customers with less reliance on third parties, resulting in a faster, more responsive user experience, as well as lower costs across all services.

“Wirex pursued an FCA e-money licence in order to improve and refine its e-money services throughout the EEA. Having our own principal licence, instead of our existing FCA agency licence, means increased efficiency and lower costs,” Matveev said.

Previously E-Coin, Wirex is a hybrid personal finance platform that merges blockchain technology and traditional finance. The platform boasts of 1.8 million customers in more than 120 countries and recorded $2 billion in transactions to date.

“Acquiring an FCA licence has been our ambition since we started the company, so we’re thrilled to be at this point” says Wirex co-founder Dmitry Lazarichev.

“The licence will not materially affect how we engage with our current clients, although they will benefit from more streamlined services and potentially even lower rates than we currently offer. The licence is a testament to the fact that Wirex is committed to pursuing and achieving the highest levels of diligence and integrity in its business operations.”

Matveev said that the company will seek similar licences in other countries as well, adding that the UK e-money licence is just the beginning of a much broader, value-added offering, which will more widely cater to both consumers and businesses alike.

“Wirex is on an aggressive expansion path and in the process of obtaining licences in Asian markets including Singapore and Japan, as well as expanding into North America. The new FCA licence will enable Wirex to create additional e-money accounts in over 25 different currencies which means we can deliver a more bespoke service,” he said.

[Update: The article has been edited to include a comment from Dmitry Lazarichev and to mention that Wirex has recorded $2 billion in transactions till date]

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