BlockFi is getting ready to launch a bitcoin rewards credit card this year as it continues to build a more complete suite of financial services and draw more consumers into the cryptocurrency market.
The 2-year-old company, which began as a provider of U.S. dollar loans backed by cryptocurrency, launched a high-interest deposit account and trading functionality in 2019. The company sees the card as something that will cater to current crypto investors as well as “non-owners,” founders Zac Prince and Flori Marquez said in an email to clients Wednesday.
“You’ll be able to spend money on your BTC rewards credit card like you normally do, except instead of earning airline miles or cash-back, you’ll be able to earn an industry-leading, BTC cash-back rate on every transaction that you make with the card,” they said.
Companies like BlockFi and the bitcoin-backed rewards app Lolli see the integration of different cryptocurrency products and services alongside traditional financial services as a big driver of mainstream crypto adoption in 2020. Bitcoin itself was created to be a global form of digital cash, but in the West, the adoption of bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies has been focused on investing. Providing a way to easily earn bitcoin without having to actually invest their own money in it — and through everyday behavior and habits they’re already familiar with like swiping a credit card or buying something online with dollars — should lower the barrier to entry for new crypto investors and could make the concept of getting cryptocurrency less intimidating.
“We want to be able to market to people that don’t have cryptocurrency yet,” Prince said in an interview with Cheddar last month. “We want to be a place where they can take that first step into the crypto ecosystem.”
BlockFi raised an $18.3 million in Series A funding round in August from Valar Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Galaxy Digital and ConsenSys Ventures, among others, and has reportedly doubled its valuation over two months since.