The cryptocurrency exchange Binance just acquired Swipe, the multi-currency digital wallet that operates on the Visa network as a debit card in select European countries. One trusts that the ramifications of this have been carefully considered by Visa and the issuing bank or EBA if this is done by a licensed payment services company. Swipe’s implementation is performed on its own blockchain with connections to Ethereum. Swipe implements all transactional details in smart contracts, which in itself should raise a few concerns.
A recent paper indicates that a study of 19,366 ethereum smart contracts found that 44% contained vulnerabilities:
“The Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance has completed its acquisition of London-bassed Swipe, the multi-currency digital wallet and Visa debit card platform,. The value of the transaction was not disclosed. .
Binance has its own ‘Binance card,’ which is used to spend cryptocurrency online and offline, even at stores where cryptocurrency is not normally accepted. Binance has reportedly faced challenges in generalizing the use of its card. Swipe’s experience as a purveyor of Visa cards that work with cryptocurrencies will enable Binance to go forward with its plans. Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, and it is noted for its service offer and good management. It now accepts fiat as well as crypto.
Cryptocurrencies have not really made the transition to purchasing at bricks-and-mortar stores. Some major retailers now accept bitcoin, including Starbucks, Nordstrom and Whole Foods, but they are few in number, and the cards used to purchase with bitcoin have often been unreliable.
Swipe is intended to address this issue. The card holds your money in cryptocurrency, so that you do not lose on returns from changes in value. But you can spend your crypto coins easily, because Swipe converts the crypto to cash in the amount of your purchase. You use whatever coin you need to buy an item; the rest stays unconverted from crypto.
Like any Visa card, you can use Swipe anywhere: It is accepted at over 50 million Visa merchants worldwide. You can withdraw cash at ATM’s worldwide, and use Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.And, like other Visa cards, Swipe provides security, cashback on purchases, and statements of usage.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group