The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has completed its second acquisition in 2020. Both acquisitions appear to further indicate Binance’s interest in crypto debit card issuance.
After acquiring the industry’s most popular website, CoinMarketCap, in April 2020, Binance has now acquired Swipe, a Philippines-headquartered firm focused on crypto-to-fiat Visa debit cards.
Binance and Swipe officially announced the acquisition on July 6, claiming that the new collaboration will push “further mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies” by bringing the gap between fiat and digital assets.
Binance and Swipe “will be working closely together to launch crypto debit cards”
While the official announcements do not explicitly note that Binance and Swipe will be cooperating on issuing debit cards, an executive at Swipe says that it is an important aspect of the acquisition. In a July 8 email to Cointelegraph, Swipe COO John Khenneth said that the two companies “will be working closely together to launch crypto debit cards throughout various regions in the world.”
It remains unclear whether the acquisition has anything to do with the Binance Card — a debit card announced by Binance in April 2020. A Binance spokesperson declined to comment on the possible connection between Binance Card and Swipe to Cointelegraph. “We do not have an update related to this at this time,” the person said.
Already supporting 20+ cryptos
Highlighting that Swipe was live prior to the acquisition, Swipe’s Khenneth noted that Swipe supports over 20 cryptos at the time of acquisition. As part of the acquisition, Swipe has listed Binance’s native token BNB on its platform. This allows users to buy and sell BNB via bank accounts, Swift transfers, and Single Euro Payments Area, or SEPA.
Swipe CEO, Joselito Lizarondo, says that the addition of BNB is in line with Binance and Swipe’s mission to promote global crypto adoption. Lizarondo told Cointelegraph:
“Adding BNB to the Swipe platform brings forward a huge community of BNB holders who can now use our services to buy, sell, and pay with BNB with Euros and other fiat currencies. This will grow our user base alongside other Binance Chain tokens we plan to add in the future with their respective communities.”
At launch, BNB can be bought with SEPA transfers throughout the European Union and the United Kingdom, Swipe noted. The service is not available in the United States as Swipe’s crypto wallet is not supported in these countries to date. However, Swipe is planning to release the service for both countries “after appropriate licensing and/or registrations are complete,” according to Swipe website.
As officially announced, Swipe is currently available in 31 countries within the European Economic Area and issued by Contis, a principal member of Visa Europe and a holder of a U,K. e-money license. Swipe also supports 20 other cryptos, fiat transactions in euros, British pounds, USD, Korean won and Philippine pesos.
Swipe continues to operate independently
Similarly to Binance’s CoinMarketCap acquisition, the new Swipe acquisition is also undisclosed. While CoinMarketCap was rumored to have cost Binance about $400 million, some reports in June claimed that the Swipe’s acquisition involved a purchase of Swipe’s majority stake.
Echoing CoinMarketCap, Swipe says that it will also be able to operate the company independently from Binance. Swipe COO Khenneth said: “The deal was structured where Swipe is able to run the company independently from Binance and Binance has joined part of Swipe’s board of directors as well.”