What a month it’s been; from the impacts of COVID-19 to bitcoin halving day, it’s been a rollercoaster ride for people across the world. Nevertheless, here at Wirex, we’ve been pushing forward with our team of 200 people working hard from their homes, ensuring Wirex continues to provide it’s pioneering services to people around the world. We spoke to you last month about the successes we’d seen in the first half of 2020, but it didn’t stop there, as we saw remarkable growth in our APAC region. With an endeavour to make all currencies equal for everyone around the world, May has seen us expand into new markets, whilst working hard on acquiring new licences in others.
Bitcoin Halving Day
Whether you’re an experienced crypto-fanatic or new to the blockchain scene, you may have heard a bit about the coveted ‘Bitcoin Halving Day’ that took place on the 11th May.
In case you don’t know how Bitcoin (BTC) is produced, the process involves ‘mining’ where powerful computers solve complex mathematical problems and process transactions that are added to the end of the blockchain in ‘blocks’, in which ‘miners’ are rewarded with a fixed amount of BTC.
Every four years or so, ‘Bitcoin Halving Day’ takes place where this reward is halved every 210,000 blocks. Given that there are only 21 million BTC in existence, this is an attempt to control inflation. Thus, back in 2009, the reward for ‘mining’ a block in the Bitcoin Blockchain was 50 BTC; in 2012, it halved to 25; last year, mining a block yielded 12.5 BTC; today, this has now halved to 6.5 BTC per block.
The two previous Halving events led to significant changes (both high and low) in the market value of Bitcoin, which we have seen over the past month. In both cases however, once the markets settled, the value of BTC was still higher than before the events, and as of right now, the price of BTC is at its highest since August last year.
Some people see the Halving as an opportunity to buy and sell. The good news is that if you want to HODL (hold on for dear life), any Bitcoin held in your Wirex account will stay there and is kept safe!
WXT and loyalty points
May has seen volatile times for the Bitcoin market and digital currency markets in general. In contrast, WXT has remained stable, holding a price of $0.01. It’s stability brings confidence to our community about WXT’s functionality as a loyalty token, unlocking benefits on the Wirex platform.
Owning 500,000 WXT in your Wirex account allows fee-free trading and enhanced Cryptoback™ rewards - as high as 1.5%! The discounts don’t stop there: all exchange fees, as well as bank transfer fees, withdrawal fees (crypto transfers) and top up via credit and debit card also vanish!
Overall, it’s clear that owning WXT unlocks the benefit of the Wirex platform- not to mention the amount spent buying WXT can be quickly recovered. Trading $100,000 in notional over one year (or $275 a day) could cost an average of $1,000 a year. Investing this $1000 to buy 100,000 WXT halvens the fees!
What’s coming next for WXT? Stay tuned…
Acquiring the PS Act
With ambitious plans to expand and offer our industry-leading services across the globe, it’s important that we remain licenced and regulated where we can, and apply ‘gold-plated’ standards where regulations don’t exist.
This past month, we’ve been busy working closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to acquire a licence under the new Payments Services (PS) Act, which is a new framework brought in by authorities to help regulate payment systems and cryptocurrency services in Singapore. It’s an important regulation as it helps give consumers and operators further confidence in the rapidly growing cryptocurrency industry, and will allow Wirex to continue providing our pioneering services in the country as a licenced and regulated company.
At Wirex, we think that this licence is great since it’s part of our mission to reassure our customers that their money is safe with us, as they continue to seamlessly buy, hold, exchange and spend over 150 traditional and cryptocurrencies in one easy-to-use app and travelcard. It’s also another reason that we’re a trusted platform for millions of people in APAC and beyond!
The great news is that we’ve been allowed to continue offering our services in the meantime, so it won’t affect what we offer our customers.
APAC Exchanges Grow 200%
Last month, we spoke about reaching an incredible milestone of 3 million customers and achieving profitability, but we saw this phenomenal growth continue in the APAC region.
We’re proud to say that we saw over 200% increase in the monthly volume of exchanges there, particularly in Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia where we’ve already got a lot of customers. It certainly has been a year of ‘firsts’ for us, as May saw us also record the highest volume of transactions in APAC in a single day since we launched in the region last year!
Pavel, our CEO and co-founder, thinks this growth comes from increased interest in cryptocurrency, as people begin to understand the benefits of this compared to traditional currency, including faster and safer payments, and lower fees. He also thinks that this is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the importance of a cashless society and leading people to look for alternative forms of payment and investment which are offered here at Wirex.
Launching in Russia
We already offer our services to much of Europe, but earlier last month, we made it even easier for our Russian users to fund their accounts. We enabled the feature allowing customers there to top-up their Wirex accounts using domestic bank-issued credit or debit cards, giving them a quick and easy way to purchase cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, DAI and our native token, WXT.
Our CEO and co-founder, Pavel, is thrilled about the launch, explaining that:
“It’s great because Wirex already has a large database of users in Russia who are very excited about bridging the gap between their crypto and traditional currency. We’re constantly striving to make it easier for our customers to use their cryptocurrencies seamlessly, and this is a step in the right direction for those in Russia as we plan to eventually bring a full feature roll-out there”.
Where to next?
With all the success of the last month, you might ask yourself how we top it? Lucky for you, we’ve got some exciting projects in the pipeline, including an exclusive partnership with a global DeFi leader, launching our services into brand new territories, and some exciting and revolutionary updates to our product that will show why we’re transforming people’s lives and an industry-leader in what we do. Watch this space.