“The market needs crypto cards for daily spending, and not another wallet for coins,” – interview with CEO of TTM Bank


  • The introduction of crypto cards will help the adoption of cryptocurrency among Russians

  • Cryptocurrency cards will become a real salvation for those who receive a salary in cryptocoins

  • Cryptocurrency-enabled cards can be used to pay anywhere in the world

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In the last year in Russia, more and more people began to talk about the launch of cryptocurrency cards, which will allow Russians to pay with digital coins for familiar services and goods. Why there are still much fewer crypto card users than cryptocurrency owners, who needs cryptocurrency cards and what are their advantages, said Vladislav Utushkin, CEO of the virtual bank TTM Bank. 

The first crypto cards – analogs of bank cards that can be replenished using cryptocurrencies – appeared more than five years ago, but even among the owners of cryptocurrencies, not everyone can boast of their presence. Why the popularity of crypto cards lags behind the growth rates of the crypto market?

V.U .: Indeed, until recently, not every crypto owner was a crypto card holder. This is due to several constraining factors that hindered and partly still hinder the development of this area..

Firstly, the card is primarily about everyday payments: in shops, restaurants, to pay for plane tickets. All these companies do not accept payments directly in cryptocurrencies in the overwhelming majority, and if we talk about Russia, then accepting payments in cryptocurrency is completely prohibited here..

A map showing the availability of places that accept cryptocurrency payments. Source Cryptwerk.com

Thus, to use cryptocards, there must be a working scheme with instant conversion of cryptocurrencies into fiat money, what is called a payment gateway, passing through which the cryptocurrency turns into the desired fiat with minimal losses for the exchange rate difference.

Secondly, until now there is no such cryptocard that would be available for registration to a resident of any jurisdiction. There are some leaders in the American market, others in the European and Asian markets, and for Russian users we are the only ones who provide an opportunity to issue a crypto card. Why this happened is difficult to answer. I will assume that this is partly due to the inability of the founders of such projects to work with different jurisdictions and adapt to different legal frameworks.

Thirdly, almost all crypto cards involve replenishment from the wallet of the associated platform. Let me explain on my fingers: in order to replenish most crypto cards, you first need to transfer your coins to the virtual wallet account of the corresponding platform, and then from it to the card account, while at the time of replenishment of the crypto card, the coins will be converted into some kind of fiat currency.

This means that the owner of the cryptocurrency must agree to store some of their coins in some third-party wallet. What if it gets hacked? What if the project turns out to be a scam? And a million more ifs. Cryptocurrencies are valuable precisely because the owner has complete control over their assets. And if he voluntarily transfers them to a third-party wallet for storage, then how does such a crypto card differ from a regular bank and his bank card? In fact, nothing, only body movements for registration need to be done more.

CEO of the virtual bank TTM Bank Vladislav Utushkin

Who is the main user of crypto cards?

V.U .: Basically, these are either those who receive a salary in cryptocurrency – and the number of such people is growing every year in view of the convenience of cryptocurrencies for cross-border transfers, or those who want to use cryptocurrency not only as an investment or a trading tool, but also as a payment method for daily spending … These are people who prefer to leave the crypt only if absolutely necessary, situationally. 

Is it possible to call the crypto card market formed with established leaders?

V.U .: In my opinion, it is impossible. As I said, most projects that work with crypto maps have a lot of restrictions, primarily geographic. For example, in the American market, BitPay can be called the leader in the issuance of crypto cards, in the European market, before the problems of the Wirecard payment system, Wirex dominated, in the Russian market, our TTM Bank became the leader..

It turns out that there are already at least a dozen companies on the market that work with prepaid crypto cards. What is the difference between TTM Bank?

V.U .: First, the cryptocurrencies credited to the TTM Bank card are instantly converted into fiat money. Secondly, the TTM Bank card can be used to pay anywhere in the world where VISA is accepted, which removes geographical restrictions. This is a kind of connecting link between the traditional financial system and the world of digital currencies..

You said that when you deposit, there is an instant conversion of cryptocurrencies to fiat. That is, not cryptocurrency is stored on the card?

V.U .: Exactly. After being credited to the card, the cryptocurrency is converted into euros. Thus, the volatility inherent in the digital market does not affect the currency stored on the card in any way. For small everyday expenses, this is a very important nuance..

Is it possible to pay with a card, say, utilities?

V.U .: Of course! As well as almost any services and goods, including online shopping and ordering a taxi.

Is it possible to store funds on the card? How convenient is it?

V.U .: Cryptocurrency cards are not meant to store cryptocurrencies, they are not storage. It is used to pay for purchases in online and offline stores. Your digital assets are in your wallet, and you have full control over them, and when you need to pay for a service or product, you can send the required amount in cryptocurrency to the card. The funds are credited to the card and converted into euros very quickly, in just a couple of minutes.

Imagine that you are sitting in a restaurant, they bring you a bill, and you want to pay with cryptocurrency. The user just needs to enter his wallet and send the required amount in cryptocurrency to the account to replenish his card. Money is credited instantly, so the TTM Bank cardholder can easily close the account.

Are there any limits on replenishment and expenses??

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V.U .: Yes, and these limits are stipulated by the legislation of the jurisdiction in which the issuer is registered.

If, nevertheless, clients’ spending exceeds these limits, then we advise you to issue several crypto cards at once. You can differentiate these cards by type of spending: one to pay in stores, the other to pay on the Internet, the third – in restaurants..


– Thanks for the conversation!


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“The market needs crypto cards for daily spending, and not another wallet for coins,” - interview with CEO of TTM Bank

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