Monday, January 30, 2023
  • Users can make payments for goods and services using selected cryptocurrencies through the Kastelo crypto card
  • The innovation was made possible by a partnership with various South African Banks and MasterCard
  • Kastelo card works with four cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), USD Coin (USDC)  and their own, Rand-backed Kastelo Community Token

The South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) positive stance on cryptocurrency is yielding results. South African Fintech company Kastelo has launched a crypto card for transacting in cryptocurrency within South Africa and abroad.

Users can make payments for goods and services using selected cryptocurrencies through the Kastelo crypto card. The innovation was made possible by a partnership with various South African Banks and MasterCard as a payments processor. The low utility has somewhat hamstrung the undeniable power of cryptocurrency, but Kastelo’s innovation has changed the game.

First crypto card in Africa

This is the first true ‘crypto card’ in the world. There are other platforms that allow transacting with your cryptocurrency. However, Kastelo’s approach to doing this through a card is quite unique. Users can use cryptocurrency instead of fiat to make payments.

Just use your card as you would normally do with other bank cards to transact. Users will have to create a Kastelo account and deposit cryptocurrencies in the account to make them available for transacting beforehand, but it is well worth it. The transaction fees are low, charging anywhere between US 20 cents and US 50 cents per transaction, depending on the currency you are paying in.

Read: The top projects driving the African crypto ecosystem

Kastelo is making huge steps

Kastelo has been working on creating appropriate infrastructure. They have made a huge leap by partnering with MasterCard and some other large banks.

“The main difference with our crypto card compared to other payment offerings is the ease of on-boarding and off-boarding from fiat to crypto,” says Nicholas Burke, chief operations officer at Kastelo. The company is a registered financial services provider in South Africa.

Founded by PhD holders Mark Burke, who has the role of CEO and Francois Liebenberg, who sits on the board of directors. Kastelo deals in cryptocurrency, foreign currency trading and other financial services.

How does the crypto card work

According to Kastelo Chief operations Officer Nicholas Burke, it is a seamless process that has two parts. The first part is determining what you have in your Kastelo account. The Kastelo account accommodates both fiat and cryptocurrency giving an incredible degree of choice.

The second part is figuring out where you are transacting and what currency is required to settle your payment there. All this is calculated in a fraction of a second, and your fiat or crypto is converted into the currency required for payment.

At present, Kastelo card works with four cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), USD Coin (USDC)  and their own, Rand-backed Kastelo Community Token.  The card works anywhere that accepts the MasterCard.

Read: Will crypto eventually replace fiat currency

Is the move by Kastelo scalable

One major question around this crypto card idea is scalability. Bitcoin processes 7 transactions per second, but the titans of the global payments game VISA process 24000 transactions per second while MasterCard processes 5000 transactions per second.

The Lightning Network is a technology that allows users to build payment channels on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, allowing up to 1 million transactions per second. Ethereum’s recent merge brings its capability to 100000 transactions per second. Bearing in mind that this capacity is not solely for purchase transactions. There is room for blockchain technology to handle something close to what the current Kings of the game do.

To get a card, you have to sign up at the Kastelo website and transfer crypto or South African Rand (ZAR) to your newly created account. Bringing additional utility like this to cryptocurrency holders will go a long way toward motivating cryptocurrency adoption.

Africa’s interest in blockchain is not just academic, as innovations like the first crypto card are evidence of.

Read: Bolt Card: A Bitcoin equivalent of a Visa/Mastercard

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