It might soon be possible to make purchases with Litecoin at brick and mortar stores thanks to a British solution called Uquid.
Uquid is planning to issue a Visa debit card that can be loaded with 90 different cryptocurrencies including Litecoin, its website indicates. If it works as advertised the Uquid Visa would enable unlimited spending online, ATM withdrawals and free POS transactions with several different altcoins. Bank transfers and deposits to reloadable debit cards such as the Paysafe card and Cashu are planned.
Like Shakepay’s solution, Uquid is supposed to automatically convert cryptocurrencies into U.S. Dollars or Euros. It also converts them into pound sterling which will be popular with British subjects and residents of Ireland.
The Uquid Visa might be a Real Game Changer
The Uquid Visa might be a real game changer because its plastic cards will be shipped free all over the world, and allow unlimited ATM withdrawals.
Equally disruptive will be Uquid’s virtual cards which are linked to PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL). That means you should be able to deposit Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies into your PayPal digital wallet and make Venmo payments from it using Uquid.
Current plans call for the Uquid virtual and plastic Visas to work with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, DASH, Monero, Augur, MaidSafeCoin, Steem, and Dogecoin. That means at least four of the big five cryptocurrencies are supported by it. Another of the big five NEO, does not appear there yet but I imagine it is coming.
Converting Litecoin gives Uquid an advantage because none of its competitors including Shakepay, TenX and Bitpay are supporting that cryptocurrency right now. Although I imagine that TenX will soon add it.
Why Uquid is a Big Deal
Uquid might be a big deal because it is already integrated with some of the biggest digital wallets around. In addition to PayPal, Uquid apparently works with Ant Financial’s Alipay – the world’s most popular digital wallet.
Some other services Uquid works with include:
- SolidTrust Pay
- Perfect Money
- Western Union (NYSE: WU)
- MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI)
This means that people outside the United States can use Uquid for international money transfers - which have the potential to become a huge moneymaker. The Pew Research Center estimated that migrants sent $582 billion in remittance payments to the folks back home in 2015.
Another interesting use for Uquid will be to send money transfers to Western Union and MoneyGram locations. Those services are available in many large retailers in North America including Walmart stores and supermarkets. A logical next step will be to make Uquid available through Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and integrate it with Walmart Pay.
A Huge New Unicorn in the UK
This might make Cosci LTD; the company behind Uquid, potentially a very valuable Unicorn. If Cosci were to capture just 1% of the remittance market it would have a payment volume of $3.387 billion a year. Therefore Cosci is potentially a major rival to both Ant Financial and PayPal.
Cosci has a huge advantage over Ant because it is based in the United Kingdom rather than the People’s Republic of China. Ant was valued at around $70 billion last year and listed as the world’s second most valuable Unicorn after Uber. With Uber’s recent troubles, there’s a strong possibility that Ant is now the world’s most valuable pre IPO company.
Uquid is offering another service that might also be a huge moneymaker. It allows a recharge or “topup” of mobile phone service in 150 countries with altcoins including Bitcoin, DASH, Ethereum and Litecoin. Users will be able to recharge their own phones or do the same for loved ones all over the world. Over 600 operators might be participating in the program.
Cosci aims to make money with Uquid with fees including:
- A $16.99 reissuance fee for plastic cards, a $1 issuance for virtual cards.
- A $1 a monthly service fee on all cards.
- A 3% foreign currency conversion fee.
- A $2.50 domestic ATM withdrawal fee.
- A $3 foreign ATM withdrawal fee
- A $1 PIN change fee
- A $15 card replacement fee.
- A 3% bank transfer fee.
Interestingly enough altcoin deposits will be free with Uquid which should encourage its’ use.
Cryptocurrency is Going Mainstream
If Uquid and competitors like TenX, succeed it will take cryptocurrency mainstream by enabling real people to use it in the real world. For example a Mexican working in New York might be able to topup his mother’s phone back home in Sinaloa with it.
More importantly it will enable real people to use cryptocurrencies to buy real stuff in the real world. That includes groceries from Kroger or Tesco and gasoline. Such solutions will greatly increase the demand for cryptocurrencies such as DASH and the price of altcoins like Litecoin.
The demand for cryptocurrencies is about to explode along with their price. Shrewd investors are about to make a lot of money from altcoins.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.