Crypto-card provider Change raises $17.5m in ICO

Singapore-based Change has raised the equivalent of US$17.5 million from its initial coin offering (ICO), it announced today.


The startup said it will use the funding for product development. It is creating a banking platform for cryptocurrencies, incorporating a debit card, digital wallet, and payments app.


The first of these – the Change Card – is scheduled to launch next month. It will enable its holders to spend cryptocurrency in “millions” of online and offline locations worldwide, the startup said in a statement.


Change is also building a marketplace that aggregates different financial services from a range of third-party fintech companies. These service providers can use an open API to integrate with Change’s marketplace.


The startup’s goal is to become a “one-stop shop” for cryptocurrency users around the world, simplifying how they store, manage, and do transactions with their cryptocurrency holdings within a single app.


For example, someone who has made substantial profits over a period of time by buying cryptocurrencies will be able to use the Change marketplace to diversify their investment. They might allocate some of those profits to micro-loans offered by a startup in Indonesia, or to a mutual fund suggested by a robo-advisor in Singapore.


Change has also partnered with the government of Estonia on its e-residency program, which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to establish and run a European Union-based company online from anywhere in the world. Its services will be made available to anyone who acquires Estonian e-residency.


Spare change


According to the company’s ICO whitepaper, the Change Token (which will be listed as “CAG” on exchanges) has been “carefully engineered to be the flagship currency in all of Change’s ecosystem, facilitating fund transfers between different investment opportunities and financial services.”


Users who make investments through the Change marketplace will get a proportion of returns in the form of CAG. They will also be able to use the token to make purchases with the Change Card. Card purchases made using CAG will be rewarded with a 0.1 percent rebate in CAG, or a 0.05 percent rebate for purchases made in other currencies.


CAG is currently listed on the KuCoin exchange.


Change is one of several fintech startups in Southeast Asia that aims to make cryptocurrencies easier to spend and interchange with fiat currency in everyday life. Fellow Singapore outfit TenX – which has also released a cryptocurrency debit card and ewallet – raised US$80 million in its token sale last June. During the same month, Hong Kong’s Monaco raised US$26.7 million in an ICO for its Visa-backed cryptocurrency card.


Change previously secured US$200,000 in funding from angel investors in early 2016.

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