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Uphold to Launch Crypto Card in Europe After Optimus Acquisition

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Digital finance platform Uphold says it has acquired card-issuer Optimus Cards UK, opening the door for the firm to roll out its own “crypto-enabled” debit card in Europe. 

Uphold announced the news Tuesday, saying its new acquisition comes with a full Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The firm plans to start rolling out its multi-asset debit card on the Optimus platform in Europe “shortly.”

Related: PayPal 2020 Results: ‘Outstanding Finish to a Record Year’

CEO JP Thieriot said Uphold had to pass the FCA’s rigorous “Change In Control” process for approval of firms seeking to acquire or increase control of another company.

“We’re very excited to get to work and help scale Optimus’s thriving EMD agency business, which already supports several major crypto and fintech ecosystems,” he said.

Read more: Uphold Teams With TaxBit to More Accurately Report Users’ Crypto Trades

European Uphold customers will soon be able to receive part or all of their salary in bitcoin or other asset “and spend it using Uphold Cards issued through Optimus,” Thieriot added.

Related: Market Wrap: Bitcoin Cracks $37.2K as Ether Breaks Through to Record-High $1.6K

Uphold was founded by CNET founder Halsey Minor as Bitreserve in 2014. He left the firm in 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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