In Brief

The 'Dragoncard,' backed by London Block Exchange, converts Bitcoin into money at the moment of each transaction

Although the digital currency known as Bitcoin has exploded in popularity in the last year, its penetration into most people’s everyday spending has been minimal at best. Attempting to bridge the gap between the digital realm and reality, the London Block Exchange (LBX), a U.K.-based startup, has launched a Visa card that converts Bitcoin into money that can be spent anywhere with just the swipe.

Known as the ‘Dragoncard,’ it works much like any other ATM card, except that when a shopper makes a purchase LBX pays the retailer the total amount in pounds, and then recoups the cost through the customer’s digital wallet, taking a 0.5% fee for each transaction. Users can also buy, sell and exchange the cryptocurrency using the company’s app, which provides information on real-time market conditions.

LBX is not the first company to release a card with this idea, although it is the first to convert Bitcoin into British pounds, having received provisional approval from the Financial Conduct Authority, the U.K.’s financial regulator. Visa, on the other hand, has previously raised concerns about the stability of cryptocurrency cards, with other such cards forced to shut down for customers outside the E.U. due to unclear national and international regulations. LBX says this is not a problem for its card as all conversions are only done in pounds.

“Despite being the financial capital of the world, London is a difficult place for investors to enter and trade in the cryptocurrency market,” said Ben Dives, London Block Exchange founder and CEO, in a statement. “We’ll bring it into the mainstream by removing the barriers to access, and by helping people understand and have confidence in what we believe is the future of money.”

London Block Exchange


Lead Image: Customer giving credit card via Shutterstock

Although the digital currency known as Bitcoin has exploded in popularity in the last year, its penetration into most people’s everyday spending has been minimal at best. Attempting to bridge the gap between the digital realm and reality, the London Block Exchange (LBX), a U.K.-based startup, has launched a Visa card that converts Bitcoin into money that can be spent anywhere with just the swipe.

Known as the ‘Dragoncard,’ it works much like any other ATM card, except that when a shopper makes a purchase LBX pays the retailer the total amount in pounds, and then recoups the cost through the customer’s digital wallet, taking a 0.5% fee for each transaction. Users can also buy, sell and exchange the cryptocurrency using the company’s app, which provides information on real-time market conditions.