Cryptocurrency exchange operator Paxful announced on Thursday that it has formed a partnership with The White Company (TWC).
Based in New York, TWC is a technology company that builds blockchain-based products for both consumers and businesses.
The partnership means that users will be able to convert bitcoin into ten different fiat currencies, including the pound sterling, US dollar, Swiss franc, and Australian dollar.
“Our partnership with Paxful will enable millions to access the digital economy through the simple and efficient technology that powers Paxful’s peer-to-peer marketplace,” said Elizabeth White, the CEO and founder of TWC.
“Together we can bring all the benefits of banking without the high costs to developing countries and the unbanked, as well as promote the usability of cryptocurrency worldwide.”
Banking the unbanked with bitcoin
To sign up for access, a user simply provides their email address, and they will instantly receive a virtual pre-paid card.
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Once a user has converted their bitcoin to fiat on that card, it can then be used to make payments online.
Users can also request that they are sent a physical card. That can then be used to make in-store purchases or to withdraw cash from an ATM.
As cool as this may seem to the average New Yorker or London hipster, TWC and Paxful appear to be particularly targeting emerging markets with unbanked populations.
In a statement, the two companies noted that people in emerging markets in Latin America and Africa would find the new cards especially useful.
“It has always been our mission to provide financial freedom worldwide and we see this as the next big step in the financial revolution”, said Ray Youssef, CEO, and Co-founder of Paxful.
“Many of our customers are unable to become banked. By allowing them to change bitcoin into prepaid debit cards we are giving them the chance to participate in both the current financial system and the digital economy.”