Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini is launching a credit card with cryptocurrency rewards in association with newly acquired crypto startup Blockrize. The Gemini Credit Card will allow consumers to earn up to 3 percent back in bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies on every purchase they make.
Ahead of the credit card’s official launch later this year, Gemini has opened up the Gemini Credit Card waiting list. More than 10,000 Blockrize waitlist customers along with Gemini’s own customers will be provided with early access to the credit card.
“The Gemini Credit Card will make it easier for any consumer to invest in bitcoin and other cryptos without changing their existing behavior,” said Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini. “Rather than deciding how and when to buy crypto, customers can do so when making their everyday purchases. We’re excited to welcome the Blockrize team to Gemini and work together to continue to mainstream crypto.”
The Gemini Credit Card will be available to all U.S. residents and will function like a traditional credit card. Rewards will be automatically deposited into a cardholder’s Gemini account.
New York based Gemini allows customers to buy, sell and store more than 30 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin, and Zcash. Gemini was founded in 2014 by the Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The Winklevoss brothers are known for a lawsuit which claimed that Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea of Facebook from them.
Gemini’s acquisition of Blockrize is the firm’s second acquisition so far, following its acquisition of Nifty Gateway in November of 2019. Gemini acquired the firm in the third quarter of 2020 for an undisclosed sum. According to Bloomberg, the Winklevoss brothers are now considering taking Gemini public because of the recent widespread resurgence of cryptocurrency.
“Cryptocurrency’s decentralized, open-source nature helps eliminate the stresses of the modern banking system by bringing access directly to consumers, making it easier to buy, sell, store and trade cryptocurrencies,” said Gemini’s chief operating officer, Noah Perlman. “And as more traditional companies adopt crypto and its use cases, it’s become even easier for consumers to use cryptocurrencies in their everyday lives to make real-world purchases, both online and in-person.”
2020 was a major year for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin becoming increasingly mainstream. In September, San Francisco’s cryptocurrency exchange Kraken received the first Wyoming state banking license for a cryptocurrency firm. Anchorage Digital bank just received conditional approval by the OCC for a national trust charter that will make the crypto bank the first recipient of a U.S national bank charter. Quontic Bank became the first bank to offer bitcoin rewards on debit card transactions. Last year, PayPal and Revolut began dabbling in crypto trading.
“In 2020, we saw an increased interest from retail users to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies — and through our consumer research we know there is interest from our existing customers and those who are crypto curious to acquire crypto in a seamless and intuitive way,” said Perlman. “A credit card that offers crypto rewards solves this for them. The ability to earn crypto rewards during the shopping experience is the next step of the credit card rewards evolution.”