Wirex is the first financial platform to combine bitcoin with traditional currency. Easily use bitcoin debit card, mobile banking, and send money across borders. Get insights on bitcoin, altcoins & ICOs. Read our technical analysis of various cryptocurrencies.
Stop what you’re doing. We can finally reveal that Wirex 3.0 – our biggest, most feature-packed upgrade yet – lands next week. We’ll be posting across our social channels with glimpses of what’s to come so don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram.
The countdown has begun, Wirex users.
What you need to know
Date: 27th February 2019
What’s changing: The Wirex desktop and mobile app
Update required: Mobile app only
The result: A whole host of innovative new features, a brand-new look and an exclusive industry event to celebrate the launch of Wirex 3.0. Get all the latest news and join in the fun on our social channels!
The next steps
As with any big upgrade, preparation is key. We want your switch to 3.0 to be seamless, so please read these instructions carefully to make sure you’re ready for the big day.
In order to facilitate the launch of Wirex 3.0, we will ask you to update your mobile app on the App Store or Google Play on 27th February 2019. Once the update is complete, you will be logged out of your account. To log back in, you will need to enter your email address, password and three characters from your memorable word.
We recommend that you log out and log back into your Wirex account before 27th of February to ensure that you remember the correct login details.
If you can’t remember your password, change it now using the Forgotten Password link. If you haven’t set up a memorable word, please set one up as soon as possible – they are there to keep your account as secure as possible. Read more about account security here.
Welcome to 2019, Wirex users! We’ve not let January blues hold us back – we’ve been working around the clock to make some big changes. All will be revealed soon.
In the meantime, it’s been a month of new releases with two new tokens available for Wirex users in the EEA. They’re both ready for you to buy, exchange and spend using your Wirex app and Wirex Visa card.
Riding the wave into 2019
In early January, we launched the Waves token. Its revolutionary blockchain architecture provides a lightweight, fast and low-cost open source platform, making it an interesting investment opportunity for anyone looking to widen their crypto horizons. Users can now buy, store, convert and spend WAVES with their Wirex Visa cards, securing Wirex’s position as one of the most diverse and practical platforms on the market.
After announcing our partnership with Pigzbe back in November, we’re delighted to see the official launch of their native token Wollo (WLO) on the Wirex platform. Pigzbe is a crypto-friendly startup that aims to provide parents with a new way of teaching money management. Their Piggy-Wallet™, which is funded by Wollo, equips children aged 6+ with the tools to start navigating digital finance by giving them real-life experience in earning, saving and spending their own money. Like Waves, Pigzbe offers something completely different to users, making it another exciting addition to the Wirex portfolio.
At the end of January, we announced a Wirex first: our brand new and exclusive ambassador programme! We’re in the process of recruiting a group of Community Champions, to reward those loyal Wirex users who have been busy spreading the Wirex word far and wide. Among the perks of being a Community Champion are exclusive access to Wirex events and the chance to test brand new products before release.
February will see some big changes for Wirex. We have more tokens, more ways to pay and more exciting developments coming to the app. For now, all we can confirm is that we’re busy working to make your Wirex experience even better.
More for our champions
It doesn’t end here for the ambassador programme – we’ll be revealing further news in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes on our social channels for more information.
Here at Wirex, we’re always looking for exciting projects that will offer our customers something different, to help us cater to every type of crypto-user. That’s why we’re so pleased to introduce the latest coin to the Wirex family, Nano (NANO). It joins Bitcoin, Litecoin, XRP, Ether, WAVES, Wollo and DAI as the latest cryptocurrency that Wirex users in the EEA can buy, store, convert and spend, quickly and simply.
Nano is a next-generation cryptocurrency with great potential. It aims to create opportunities for individuals and communities to interact with the global economy on a more even playing field, by offering features unmatched by legacy blockchains. Like Wirex, the team behind Nano endeavours to makes money more efficient, for a more equal world – and we’re delighted to be a part of those plans.
So what makes Nano different?
The important underlying technology that differentiates Nano from other cryptocurrencies is the concept of the Block Lattice. In the Block Lattice, every account has its own blockchain – rather than sharing one single chain in which everyone is competing to get their transactions into the head block. This unlocks a world of functionality. By allowing simultaneous transactions, there is no limit to how many can be processed at once, resulting in incredibly fast transfers and huge scalability that can be achieved with very little energy expenditure.
As the world becomes more eco-conscious, the environment is an important consideration for any crypto intent on becoming a global currency. Nano is designed to address this issue. Rather than relying on power-hungry mining to secure the network, Nano uses a process called Delegated Proof of Stake. This model gives the user the freedom to delegate their voting stake in the network to any representative they choose, who in turn uses the stake to vote on consensus. This emphasis on decentralisation and responsibility defines Nano.
Where did it all begin?
The Nano story began in 2014 when an ambitious software developer called Colin LeMahieu began to explore inefficiencies he identified in popular cryptocurrencies at the time. Using his extensive background as a developer for the likes of Qualcomm, Dell and AMD, he set about developing a protocol that addressed the issues he felt would prevent the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. From this research, RaiBlocks was born.
The project garnered extensive support, maintaining a strong community of developers, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs throughout development. In January 2018, RaiBlocks rebranded to Nano. Since then, support for the coin has continued to grow. It’s clear that Nano users put a lot of emphasis on the underlying merits of the coin, rather than focusing on the day-to-day price fluctuations that are an inherent feature of any cryptocurrency.
Nano and Wirex: a perfect match
Speed of transaction is a feature prized by the Nano community. As such, integration onto the Wirex Visa platform is an exciting next step in the coin’s journey, creating the fastest decentralised bridge between cryptocurrency and real-world spending. As if that weren’t enough, all in-store purchases made in Nano with the Wirex Visa card pay back 0.5% in crypto – giving you an even more compelling reason to start spending Nano today.
Want to give Nano a go? Buy it in your Wirex account right now.
The Dai (DAI) token joins Bitcoin, XRP, Ether, Litecoin, Waves and Wollo as the seventh cryptocurrency available for users in the EEA to buy, store, convert and spend with their Wirex Visa cards. As our very first stablecoin, its introduction marks the start of a new era for Wirex.
Stablecoins offer a much sought-after middle ground between the decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies and the relative market stability of traditional money.
Here’s a quick rundown of stablecoin basics:
They combine the stability of traditional currency with cryptocurrency’s ease of circulation
They are set up with a reserve of stable assets which can be used to redeem the tokens (e.g. 1 token = 1 USD)
They can be used for payments, savings or as a tool for investors to store their crypto on exchanges that don’t support traditional currencies
Rune Christensen launched a decentralised app called ‘Maker’, on the Ethereum blockchain in 2014. The Dai stablecoin was the Maker platform’s first innovation. Speaking to the Stable Report podcast, Christensen revealed that the token was originally intended to serve the Chinese market as a tool for liquidity or risk assessment, hence the name Dai – which means ‘lend’ or ‘provide for a loan’ in Cantonese. The token’s popularity has since spread beyond the Chinese market and MakerDAO now operates seven offices around the world.
Christensen believes that Dai “has the potential to become the first currency in the world that is immune to hyperinflation and hyperdeflation.” This is due to the way in which the coin is backed. Although its value is pegged to the US dollar (ensuring that 1 Dai token always equals 1 USD), Dai is backed by Maker (MKR) and Ether (ETH) tokens and stabilised by a smart contract. This architecture makes it one of the first tokens of its kind.
Dai offers a novel solution to the market volatility that characterises crypto without compromising on decentralisation – which is why they’re an excellent partner for Wirex. Here are a few other advantages of DAI:
Not only are all DAI transactions recorded on the blockchain, Maker also records and uploads development meetings onto SoundCloud, giving users an insight into their vision for the product.
As part of the algorithmic stabilisation, Dai is also backed up by two currencies – Maker (MKR) and Ether (ETH). If ETH crashes, MKR tokens can be “liquidated on the open market”. In other words, MKR can be cashed out to ensure that DAI tokens can be redeemed. Reportedly, roughly 1 million ether (about 1% of the total Ethereum supply) is locked in MakerDAO smart contracts.
Smart contract mechanics
If the price of DAI rises above the US dollar, more DAI tokens are created automatically to bring the price down. If its price falls, tokens are sold to balance the value.
When Dai met Wirex
Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev is delighted to welcome Wirex’s first stablecoin. “We want to give our customers access to a full array of cryptocurrencies. Stablecoins are yet another variation of crypto that demonstrates how easily and efficiently it can be integrated into everyday life.”
“Dai is an excellent tool to make international payments at low costs without the volatility,” expands his Wirex co-founder, Dmitry Lazarichev. “The token feeds into our ethos of enabling mainstream crypto adoption by streamlining traditional and cryptocurrencies. Dai is a solid addition to our existing cryptocurrency portfolio.”
Calling all Wirex fans. Are you an active part of the crypto community? Have friends and family asked if you earn commission thanks to your constant Wirex chat? Do you leap on new products and features like a kid at Christmas? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, you could be one of our very first Wirex Community Champions.
Your support has been an integral part of our success over the years and we’re incredibly proud of the whole Wirex community. We value what you have to say about the platform, products, features and how we do things – which is why we created the Community Champions programme. It’s our way of giving something back to you.
As a Community Champion, you’ll become a key part of the team.
Get exclusive access to Wirex events, including product launches and networking evenings.
Take part in beta-tests or brainstorming sessions.
Work alongside the Wirex team to help develop our latest products and services.
Meet and network with fellow Community Champions and crypto enthusiasts, just like you.
Learn about upcoming products and features before anyone else.
You’ll be immersed in all things tech, cryptocurrency, blockchain and of course, Wirex.
Community Champions will work alongside core members of the Wirex team. We’ll also need your help testing new products and services, so you can share your opinions on what you believe will make us even better.
With your help, we’ll take Wirex to the next level.
Champions in the making
We’re looking for members who are passionate about Wirex – you love the way Wirex improves your life, and you’ve got ideas about how to make Wirex even better. We’ll give you an exclusive forum to discuss the latest tech with fellow crypto enthusiasts and the opportunity to get behind the scenes of one of the most pioneering companies in the industry.
If you’re an active member of our community, you contribute to discussion on social channels and try out new products as soon as they’re released, we want you!
Transparency is one of our core values. Following the issues faced by some of our users over the weekend, we want to ensure that our customers understand exactly what happened and why. We know that many of you have been severely inconvenienced and we apologise wholeheartedly to all who were affected.
The integrity of our users’ personal information and funds is of paramount importance to us. As such, we implemented updated security protocols on the Wirex platform on Friday 18th January. This update required approximately 5% of our customer base to reset their account login details. We want to assure you that at no point was the security of your accounts compromised during this process.
An internal investigation revealed that one of our server parameters wasn’t updated correctly as we moved the new release from the testing platform to the production environment. This prompted password resets.
Our sincerest apologies to anyone who has been unable to access their account recently. We are taking the following actions to ensure that this situation doesn’t reoccur:
Communicating major updates in advance to give customers appropriate notice to take action
Implementing additional cross-checks to ensure that updates migrate from testing to production smoothly
The next steps
To re-establish access to your Wirex account, please follow the steps below:
Enter the email associated with your Wirex account and click “Send Recovery Link”
Follow the link in the email. Check your spam/junk folders if it doesn’t appear in your inbox
If you have set up a memorable word, you will be asked to enter 3 random letters from it. Read more here about how to enter letters from memorable word. If you’ve forgotten your memorable word, please contact our Support Team
Set up a new password
If you have problems following these steps, get in touch with our Support Team by opening a ticket here
If you are locked out of your account but haven’t received an email prompting you to reset your details, please add email@example.com to your email contacts to prevent our emails from going into your spam box.
Cryptocurrencies pegged to a stable asset (often a traditional currency), are known as stablecoins. These are considered “the holy grail of crypto” by some enthusiasts; however, the most common use case for stablecoins is as a liquidity tool for cryptocurrency exchanges. Many exchanges are denied access to traditional banking because banks are often wary of dealing with anything crypto-related for compliance reasons.
Stablecoins are designed to combine crypto’s ease of circulation with the stability of traditional currencies. They have been popular with investors who trade on exchanges that don’t support traditional currencies, as they provide an option to store crypto without the associated price volatility
Reserve-backed stablecoins function a little like paper money used to when it was linked to the gold standard. Just as cash used to be backed by gold reserves in a central bank, reserve-backed stablecoins are backed one-for-one by reserves of the currencies they are pegged to.
Issuers of coins like USDC or Tether “tokenize” dollars by exchanging them for a stablecoin and depositing the dollars in a bank. Those dollars are then left untouched until somebody redeems the stablecoin.
The big names
Forbes claimed that stablecoins would be the “catalyst to the new decentralised internet becoming mainstream”. The hype was understandable – a major obstacle to the mainstream adoption of digital currencies is their volatility, an issue that stablecoins mitigate. However, in reality, this system doesn’t always run as smoothly expected.
There is a widespread misconception that stablecoins offer a similar level of stability to cash. This isn’t the case and the two aren’t comparable. Whereas cash is a liquid asset and will always represent the exact value of the currency it’s backed by, stablecoins can and do fluctuate.
“A currency should act as a medium of monetary value” asserts the finance education site Investopedia. “Its value should remain relatively stable over time”. Stablecoins don’t fit this definition because the value of major coins has fluctuated wildly in the short time they’ve been available – and the debate about whether collateralised deposits equal the value of the stablecoins in circulation rages on.
Like traditional banking, stablecoins rely heavily on the confidence of their potential users. This is key to attracting investment and maintaining value. Developers are aware of this. They often undertake measures to help boost viability, such as naming the bank their coin is attached to or undergoing regular security audits to prove that tokens are destroyed when funds are redeemed. As MIT’s Advisor for Blockchain Research, Michael J. Casey, asserts, the key to the success of a stablecoin is being able to “convince a wide community of token holders of its future solvency”.
We ended 2018 with a stack of product improvements, extra security features, a smoother user journey and even more places around the world for you to spend your crypto and traditional currencies. It’s been a big year of expansion for us internally too – we’ve grown our staff from a modest team of 30 in Kyiv and London to a team of 270 with offices in Japan, Canada, the USA and Singapore.
Here are our December highlights:
On your marks, Wirex Business customers
Wirex Business is on its way! We’re in the early stages of product development, creating a dynamic service for our business customers. We’ll be one of the first platforms to offer secure crypto-enabled accounts for businesses that can be registered directly under your business name. We’re about to start beta testing this brand new platform – if you’re interested in applying, you can find out more here.
Christmas at Wirex
On the 20th, our London office closed the doors early to celebrate the end of another great year. With staff from the USA and Canada offices in tow, we had our official Wirex Christmas party in Marylebone, London with a night of dinner, drinks, some in-house awards and a lot of dancing. A speech from our co-founder Pavel Matveev rounded off the year, revealing exciting prospects for 2019. Watch this space!
A final milestone for 2018
Thanks to the hard work of our teams across the globe and our loyal customers spreading the word about the Wirex app, we ended the year with a record 2 million registered users! As well as a huge increase in personnel, our business grew four-fold in 2018 and we hope to continue on this trajectory.
Coming up in January
More ways to pay
We’re keeping the details under wraps for now, but look out for more ways to pay with Wirex, coming soon to our users in the EEA.
We’re expanding! Following this year’s growth, Wirex will be coming to even more regions around the world and expanding our offering within existing countries as well.
For a full roundup of our year, check out our timeline for 2018. Don’t forget to follow our social channels to stay up-to-date with new releases, offers and products.
Kicking off 2019 on a high note, we’re delighted to welcome a new token to Wirex. WAVES joins Bitcoin, Litecoin, XRP and Ether as the latest cryptocurrency that Wirex users in the EEA can buy, store, convert and spend with their Wirex Visa card. The launch of the Wirex WAVES Wallet cements our industry-leading offering as one of the most unique on the payment card market.
Why the Waves platform?
Waves offers a sophisticated alternative to open source platforms. Much like the Ethereum blockchain, users can develop and build unique, decentralised applications using a “lightweight architecture”. This framework enables the platform to perform at higher speeds and lower costs than Ethereum, an efficiency that has created greater scope for streamlined scalability and has the potential to inspire increased mainstream crypto adoption. Cryptocurrency journalist Steven Buchko has noted that the Waves platform caters to many diverse applications, “whether you want to crowdfund a project, build a loyalty rewards program, or create an in-app currency”.
Unlike the Bitcoin blockchain, which uses hard forks (new currency protocols) to build every new application, Waves creates these using bespoke plug-ins as an extension of the core software. This means that the Waves architecture doesn’t require clients to update their software every time a new app is developed and added to the platform, making it a particularly disruptive addition to the decentralised platform market.
Waves at Wirex
The platform’s speed and efficiency, which circumvent significant hurdles in the crypto industry, have already made it a popular token with industries far and wide. Since the start of October 2018, WAVES’ value has risen by approximately 373% according to Coin Index charts. “The introduction of the Waves wallet to Wirex is an exciting development for both crypto-investors and our globetrotting Wirex Visa card users,” explains Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev. “Investors benefit from having a stake in the rising star of the crypto market, which is already ranked in the top 25 on the Coin Market Cap charts [at the time of writing].”
“For travel, welcoming WAVES to your portfolio means that you can enjoy a wider choice of currencies to exchange from and store,” Wirex co-founder Dmitry Lazarichev adds. “The Wirex platform allows you to instantly convert and spend your crypto wherever you are in the world, so you can make the most of our diversified crypto offering while you travel.”
With blockchain adoption at its core, the initial Waves whitepaper asserted that the platform would “determine the most ‘production-ready’ aspects of current blockchain technology and apply them to the real-world problems”. At its core, Waves aspires to solve common problems using disruptive blockchain technology incidentally, rather than as its unique selling point.
ZrCoin is a good example of this. Built on the Waves blockchain, it is the first ever commodity-backed blockchain option, facilitating investment in the production of zirconium dioxide. The decentralised nature of the blockchain allows full transparency throughout the process of production. Investors appreciate this new-found transparency, which allows them to commit to their investment confidently from start to finish.
A study in space and time
Waves launched in 2016 under Ukraine-born CEO and founder Alexander Ivanov. He began his career studying Theoretical Physics at universities in Moscow and Leipzig. He launched Waves over a decade later, naming the platform in honour of recently-discovered gravitational waves (predicted by Albert Einstein a century earlier).
This association with Einstein – the archetypal genius – left Ivanov with large shoes to fill, but he has been bullish in his confidence regarding the platform, telling Forbes that he was “convinced that [Waves would] be the frontier of blockchain adoption”. With more than $16 million raised during its ICO and a partnership with ‘Big Four’ accounting giant Deloitte, Waves’ prospects certainly look positive.
Whether you’re a crypto-investor or are looking for an additional currency to take advantage of, you can convert your funds instantly with low fees and at bank-beating rates on the Wirex platform. Ride the wave with us into 2019, Wirex users!
Most of us are familiar with the task of exchanging currencies, but understanding the intricacies involved can be a challenge. Currency exchange appears to be a relatively simple transaction; in fact, the mechanics are quite complex.
To help make things clearer, here’s an explanation of a few basic terms that will help you get to grips with how currency exchange works. We’ll explain how they affect your transactions later on:
Under the lens
If you go on holiday abroad – let’s say New York for the weekend – you will need to exchange your base currency into a foreign currency – in this case, dollars. You visit your local bank, post office or currency exchange specialist to do this (they generally all operate the same model) and exchange £100 into USD. The bank offers you a price for which they are willing to buy your £100 GBP. This is the GBP-USD Bid price. In this case, the exchange (Bid) price for £100 might be $125.83 ($1.2583 to £1).
You return from New York on Monday with $125.83 left over, which you want to convert back to GBP. You return to the bank who say that they’ll sell you back your GBP at $1.2783* (the Ask price). As such, you receive £98.44. The difference (Spread) is £1.56, which represents the cost of facilitating and matching buyers and sellers.
The Spread for different currencies is affected by trade volumes, liquidity and volatility in the market. All currencies have different levels of liquidity and market demand, which is why spread costs can vary drastically from currency to currency and have different prices on different exchanges (the risk of market volatility is decided by the institution).
*This example assumes that market rates have not changed during this period.
How does Wirex work?
Wirex is a multi-currency platform that allows you to buy, sell and spend your digital and traditional currencies. When you buy your base currency in exchange for another currency, you pay the Ask price. We use live exchange rates to provide you with the most-up-to-date market prices. You can see the equivalent USD value of your holdings in any of your wallets in the Wirex app. These values are based on the Bid price, so you know exactly what it is worth if you want to exchange it into USD. As stated above, this process is the same across all exchanges.
What sets Wirex apart from other exchanges is that we strive to make the buying and exchanging of digital and traditional currencies simpler and more secure. We achieve this by integrating with 10 different exchanges and 3 OTC institutions to obtain the best currency pair pricing for each customer. Our rates take into account the various liquidity levels on these exchanges, differing exchange fees and limits, available currency pairs and volatility levels in order to match the trades for each customer. It means that we search for the best Bid and Ask rates that we can source at the time of transaction. We do not charge any additional fees on top for processing the transaction, unlike other leading companies. Once you add these additional fees to the exchange rates, you will often find that Wirex gives you a better overall rate/value.
Exchange rates are made up of Bid prices, Ask prices and Spreads
All exchanges use the same process for buying and selling traditional and cryptocurrencies
The Ask Price is always higher than the Bid Price. The difference is the Spread, based on market liquidity and demand
Wirex uses live exchange rates to provide you with the most up-to-date prices
Wirex does not charge you any additional fees for processing transactions, unlike most other companies
Wirex does make the process simple giving you our best rates, no additional charges, and the ability to spend your crypto in everyday life