Former CEO of VISA joins project to create payment cards with cryptocurrencies
The former CEO of Visa UK and Ireland has joined a cryptocurrency startup that seeks to make cards for daily purchases.
Marc O'Brien, CEO of Visa UK and Ireland from 2008 to 2014, was announced on Thursday as CEO of Crypterium, the cryptocurrency payment firm. Crypterium calls itself "cryptobank" that allows you to pay with tokens through NFC, QR codes or in online stores.
The startup plans to partner with Visa and MasterCard to make cryptocurrency cards that will carry their virtual wallet in "a fraction of a second," he said in an interview with Business Insider.
"That card will be attached to a wallet that we have created and each time the consumer makes a transaction we will receive a request for that transaction in our systems, we will check the bitcoin or ether account and as long as they have enough balance we will execute an operation and we will mark their balance of bitcoin for a transaction and we will approve the transaction "
Sometimes it can take up to a week to exchange cryptocurrencies in your bank account, but O'Brien said the start-up will speed up the process so that people can make their daily purchases.
"What Crypterium will do is allow the entire process to be perfect and give the consumer the opportunity to use their cryptocurrencies to pay for everyday items," he said.
O'Brien claims that the intellectual property of Crypterium's "secret sauce" will protect transactions from the volatility of cryptocurrencies.
The startup also has global ambitions. O'Brien said that Crypterium has a "unique opportunity" to attract consumers as a "safe haven" in high inflation markets such as Turkey and Argentina.
"The concern that many of them may have about having access to that currency in a short space of time for immediate spending," he said, "we will be able to close that gap and make it an instant gratification," he said. O'Brien.
Crypterium currently has a team of three people in London and ten in Moscow and is considering offices in New York, Singapore and Miami. He added that they plan to launch their first products in the fall.
But the startup faces competition in space. Another payment company, Bitpay, already offers a Visa card that can be used in the United States. And the startup TenX, based in Singapore, has created a virtual card to facilitate payments with cryptocurrencies while traveling.
From Finance to Crypto
Crypterium is not the first cryptography company that traps former executives of traditional financial institutions. But a former JPMorgan operator who became an administrator of cryptocurrency funds has gone so far as to say that banks "have not been able to innovate" when it comes to cryptocurrency.
Daniel Masters, who led JPMorgan's energy trading business in the 1990s, called the cryptocurrency a "true revolution" and cast doubt on the willingness of conventional financial services companies to embrace it.
Also, in his interview in February with Business Insider:
"Analog financial services companies are not in this game at all. They do not want to touch the central currency, which is Bitcoin or Ethereum, they distrust the industry itself. Many people think that it is a criminal enterprise and a Ponzi scheme and a scam "