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How Revolut are leading the way with cryptocurrencies

Here at Revolut, we are constantly evolving our platform based on the feedback we receive from our customers. One aspect that has repeatedly cropped up is cryptocurrencies — a digital currency. In this article, we describe the first iteration of our offering which is planned for release in the next few weeks.

What is cryptocurrency?

Digital (or crypto-) currencies are a new wave of assets which are decentralised (not controlled by any one government or authority), secure*, non-tangible, fungible (can be freely traded over-the-counter or via an exchange) and scalable. They are built on top of a technological layer known as the blockchain. A distributed public ledger which securely records and facilitates irreversible peer-to-peer transactions which cannot be easily amended.

The concept spawned from a white paper published by an anonymous individual known as Satoshi Nakamoto. An innovative approach to a distributed store of value. Technical details are beyond the scope of this blog, but for those interested the original white paper can be found here. Bitcoin was the first “currency” and store of value based upon the blockchain, which leverages an innovative approach to consensus known as proof-of-work.

Why are we integrating cryptocurrencies?

Since inception, we at Revolut have strove to remain ahead of the curve by providing a simple, fast and transparent platform to manage your finances. Digital currencies are no different — we’ve seen huge demand from our users and wanted to reduce the barrier to entry by providing seamless exchange between fiat and cryptocurrency exposure from right within our app.

Our focus was to provide a service which is simple, fast and secure — complementing our current platform. Allowing our users to gain instant exposure to some of the most popular cryptocurrencies.

How are we securely integrating cryptocurrencies?

Due to the lack of regulation, consensus and unified support there is still a lot of uncertainty within the industry — with many companies simply choosing not to embrace crypto at all until regulation evolves.

With this in mind, we have developed an alternative phased approach which allows us to be the first banking alternative to offer crypto — from right within the app — with the blessing of our partners.

revolut-crypto

Phase 1 of Revolut’s cryptocurrency offering greatly simplifies the process of buying, selling, sending and spending * Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin. You’ll be able to instantly exchange any of our 25 fiat currencies into crypto and back at the touch of a button. With no need to worry about how to securely store your crypto or private keys, as the value of your exposure is securely stored within your Revolut wallet in exactly the same manner as for your fiat balances. Furthermore, we’ll offer you the best possible rate which will be transparent within the app, and only +1.5% on the last executed exchange price.

However, please keep in mind [compared to fiat] there is an increased risk when buying, and selling cryptocurrencies — with swings of ±20% or more in one day being commonplace. You should be fully aware of the risks involved before exchanging any of your funds.

Initially, there will be two key limitations with our offering which are,

  1. No external loads in crypto — you can however continue to instantly top-up via your debit/credit card and exchange into crypto, and
  2. No external transfers in crypto — you can instantly send crypto to your peers on Revolut, but your balance will be first converted into fiat if you wish to transfer the balance externally.

What’s next?

We’re looking to release Phase 1 within the next few weeks, and hope to support external transfers in the near future — we’re working closely with our biggest financial partners to make this a reality. Revolut believe cryptocurrencies will play an increasingly important role in global financial services and hope that our initial adoption will help to bring crypto to a wider audience.

As always, we welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions.