Digital banking app Revolut has rolled out its cryptocurrency services for all standard users, saying it is widening access earlier than planned due to the global economic crisis.
In an email to users on April 1, the United Kingdom-born fintech announced that cryptocurrency accounts and trading — previously reserved from Premium and Metal tier users of the app — are as of now available for all standard users, at a 1.5% flat fee per trade.
A warning “right now”
Amid the unprecedented economic turbulence sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Revolut cautions its users that “we are starting to see quantitative easing and currency devaluation happening again right now,” adding:
“We had planned to make this official later this year, but in light of recent events, we’ve decided to give all Revolut customers the opportunity to explore different ways of diversifying, including through crypto, right now.”
Revolut’s head of crypto Edward Cooper noted that the impetus for crypto's creation was sparked, in part, by the fallout of the 2008 financial crash — an era marked, as now, by an economic recession, fiat currency volatility and the rise of quantitative easing (QE).
While controversial, QE — the large-scale buying of government bonds by central banks — has become a routine monetary tool for crisis management post-2008.
QE is intended to lower yields (interest rates) on the bond market in order to encourage spending by making it cheaper to borrow money, thus providing a stimulus for growth in the economy.
Caitlin Long, the founder of the United States’ first crypto-native bank, Avanti Bank and Trust, has responded to the Federal Reserve’s 2020 pledge to continue the policy, claiming that:
“The last vestige of #capitalism [has] died in the U.S. [The] Fed’s monetization U.S. debt is now unlimited. Nationalization of US capital mkts — a process started in 1968 — is now complete. This result was predictable (virus was just trigger).”
Revolut’s journey with crypto
In an email to Cointelegraph, Dave Hodgson — co-founder and director of NEM ventures — said that while Revolut’s broadening of support for crypto represents “a positive step for the industry”:
“It would be encouraging to see Revolut (and others) fully adopt the crypto philosophy 'not your keys, not your coins' and not assume that all users want a custodial solution.”
While fees for standard users of the app’s crypto feature will initially have parity with Premium and Metal users, at 1.5%, the flat fee for standard users will rise to 2.5% in May.
Revolut will also be making gold trading available to standard users by the end of this month.