The crypto wallet company says its Visa card will be “on-chain” and “non-custodial,” unlike other crypto payment cards.
Crypto startup ZenGo is joining the Visa Fintech Fast Track program. Through the accelerator program, it will have access to Visa staff, tech, and resources. ZenGo will work with Visa to develop a non-custodial crypto payment card.
Announced Tuesday, Visa has invited digital asset wallet provider ZenGo into its Fast Track program. The startup hopes to use the program, which has famously championed Bitcoin’s Lightning Network and rewards app Fold, to help launch a crypto-integrated payment card for the U.S. in early 2021.Crypto apps are the
flavor of the month, with PayPal joining Square, Robinhood, Revolut and Ziglu, who are all competing in this space. ZenGo CEO Ouriel Ohayon talked up the non-custodial aspect of the Visa-backed card, which he says sets it apart from the likes of PayPal.
“Those other offerings are only a half-vanilla taste of what crypto is because they only let you own an IOU over a cryptocurrency,” Ohayon said in an interview.
“This is the only one that is tied to a user-controlled wallet where the users have control of their funds and the funds are on-chain.”
The ZenGo payment card allows users to convert their cryptocurrency into fiat so it can be spent in the Visa network and withdrawn from ATMs. The wallet uses a clever technique called multi-party computation (MPC), which breaks up long cryptographic keys and can be leveraged to create a more conducive user experience.
According to ZenGo, MPC saves customers from having to write down private keys or remember passwords, and protects them even if their phone is lost or stolen.
“As the preferred network for digital currency wallets, we are excited to help innovative fintechs like ZenGo harness the value of Visa’s network,” Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, said in a statement. “Through the Fast Track program, we can support ZenGo with access to Visa’s experts, technology, and resources to
scale with efficiency.”