Marc O’Brien, the former head of Visa (V) in the U.K. and Ireland has joined Crypterium (CRPT), a startup working to facilitate the everyday usage of cryptocurrency in consumer payments.
O’Brien has more than two decades of experience in financial services and fintech. He was a long time advisor to MasterCard (MA) before joining Visa where he served in multiple roles.
The startup, which was incorporated in Estonia last year, raised $52 million through an initial coin offering (ICO) at the end of last year. The startup was founded by a group of entrepreneurs who want to make it easy to pay with cryptocurrency such as bitcoin and ether in everyday situations. According to O’Brien:
“Cryptocurrency is not used frequently much as a means of payment or even for general use every day. If you went to an exchange today with your Ethereum of even Bitcoin, it would take you 3 to 7 days before you receive the exchanged money into your bank account. This is because Crypterium we want to make the process simple by giving an opportunity for all consumers to use their digital currencies to pay for items anytime.”
O’Brien added that the startup is now looking for experienced financial services team. He added that, “The Company will look to add professional staff which is used to dealing with large-scale global operations.”
Crypterium hopes to collaborate with Visa or MasterCard to launch dedicated cryptocurrency cards that will be attached to a Crypterium’s native wallet. OBrien said,
“The card will have an attached wallet which we have already created and every time a consumer uses cryptocurrency to make a transaction we will receive a request for the specific transaction in our systems. After receiving the request, we will check to ensure that the consumer has enough balance then we will execute a trade by marking their bitcoin balance for trade then we will approve the transaction. The whole process will be very fast and can happen within a fraction of a second.”
However, the company has not disclosed how the transactions will be carried out without being exposed to the extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies.
The cryptocurrency start-up currently has an app in beta testing that can be linked to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay, which enables users to pay at any NFC terminal, or via scanning the QR codes.
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