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Any company issuing a cryptocurrency debit card will face an uphill battle these days. More specifically, there have been new restrictions imposed by both Visa and Mastercard when it comes to issuing such cards outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). In a surprising turn of events, Monaco – which recently held a cryptocurrency ICO – saw its card approved by Visa. It’s an interesting turn of events, although there are some caveats to take into account.
MONACO VISA CARD APPROVED IN SINGAPORE
There is always a catch whenever news stories like these break. While it is true Monaco has received approval from Visa to issue its cryptocurrency debit cards, there are certain limitations to take into account. For the time being, this card can only be issued to people living in Singapore. It is not necessarily the situation that the Monaco team would have liked, even though it is still a very important first step when looking at the bigger picture.
Having the approval of Visa is a big step for any company looking to bridge the gap between cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Although there are many card providers out there which have been operating without any issues, they will be cut off from customers outside of the EEA very soon. It seems Monaco is well positioned to buck this trend, even though Singapore is just one country in a very long list of places it would like to operate moving forward.
It is also worth noting that the Monaco debit card is not directly issued by Visa, nor would it be possible to do so, as the startup has a third-party partner in place to take care of these issues. This is the same as with any current or future cryptocurrency debit card, as they must all go through third parties for regulatory compliance. In the case of Monaco, that partner is Wirecard AG, a well-known global financial entity. However, Monaco is still considered the “program manager” of the card.
There is a good reason as to why so many different cryptocurrencies and digital assets aim to partner with Visa in one way or another. Cryptocurrency remains incredibly difficult to spend without the use of intermediary tools. Debit cards have become increasingly popular among cryptocurrency enthusiasts over the past few years. The ability to convert digital assets into fiat currencies and spend them at over 44 million merchant locations is a big step forward.
According to Monaco sources, Singapore is only the starting point for this venture. The company has confirmed the global roll-out of its card is still on the agenda, although it remains to be seen how things will play out. Investors in the Monaco ICO were initially pleased with the news, although the token saw a sharp correction shortly afterward. It is unclear if that was driven by the Bitcoin price trend or not, but it is certainly possible the card’s “limited” roll-out makes some investors wary.
Whether or not Monaco will succeed in its global mission remains to be seen. This initial approval certainly paves the way for more successes down the line. For now, it is important to see this announcement in the right perspective. The card can only be issued to people in Singapore right now, which means a lot of people will have to wait their turn. No timelines have been provided as to when regulatory approval might be granted to issue this card in other parts of the world.
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