We have written about TenX in the past with admiration for its business model. We weren’t the only admirers. Last year TenX raised $80 million, ranking it as the ninth largest ICO of 2017. But now, there is a new threat, UK based Wirex. These Brits are less well financed but much further along with a real product ready to launch in the US. Could this could put the kibosh on tiny TenX? Let’s take a look.
You Gotta Love The Concept: Mass Acceptance
Both TenX and Wirex share a similar business model. They make cryptocurrencies spendable anytime, anywhere in the world. Start with their wallet and add a supported cryptocurrency. Then when the need to fill the gas tank or pay for dinner arises, pull out your TenX or Wirex card bearing the VISA or MasterCard logo and complete the transaction.
During the transaction, your crypto is instantly converted to fiat in one seamless step. The cost of this service to the cardholder is unclear but we presume it will have to compete with exchange fees from entities like Coinbase or Binance.
True, there are certain limitations. So far the Wirex wallet accepts only Bitcoin. TenX boasts of accepting Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin. That covers about 90% of crypto assets but still leaves out a long list of altcoins and the bazillion of recently minted stablecoins.
Other marketing highlights at the TenX website include the opportunity to “Spend at over 42 million points of acceptance online and offline, in almost 200 countries – perfect for the world traveller.” Unfortunately the website also notes, “We’re working hard to bring the TenX Card to you as soon as possible. Join the waitlist in the app to be notified when it’s out.”
Neither approach is perfect. For crypto purists the only solution is for Bitcoin and other altcoins to be accepted directly as a medium of exchange. Maybe that dream will take place by 2028 or sooner but be careful about holding your breath.
Another flaw is that both systems appear dependent on either the VISA or MasterCard payment rail (and this has been a big problem). Even under ideal circumstances these transactions fail to reach the dream of being both frictionless and free. However from the standpoint of mass acceptance, the merchant is already absorbing these costs so it should not impede acceptance of either TenX or Wirex.
Wirex Comes To America
Now Bitcoin.com reports that Wirex, which just registered in Canada, has its sights on a US launch. There are two aspects about this that are worth noting. First, Wirex is using transfer technology from i2c. Not being a technology mavin, it is unclear what this exactly means to things like speed and costs but it can’t hurt Wirex’s invasion of America.
So why should investors in TenX be concerned? After all, things haven’t exactly been all that shining. At one point this year, TenX ranked in the 50 most highly valued cryptos. It pretty much carved out a giant sized niche.
And then back in January a great many of Visa’s cryptocurrency debit cards ceased working as the company ended its relationship with a debit card provider called WaveCrest. Affected cards were those issued by WaveCrest, including products from CryptoPay, Bitwala, TenX, Wirex and others. Since then, the price of TenX has dropped from $5 to about $0.55.
This is where the connection between Wirex and i2c could be the answer to the problem. According to Bitcoin.com “The relationship with i2c will enable Wirex to be the first crypto-friendly payment platform to offer this innovative service in the US.”
A Few Metrics on Wirex
If any published data can be believed, it would appear the Wirex already is a small force in crypto to fiat payments. According to its website, Wirex has over 900,000 customers in 130 countries having participated in over $1 billion in transactions. That maybe be peanuts compared to the total value of all transactions but it ain’t exactly chump change either.
So while loyal fans of TenX patiently wait for their plastic and investors sit on their $0.55 crypto investment, Wirex appears ready to steal the thunder.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.