CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero caught up with White Company CEO Elizabeth White, who’s spreading merchant adoption with her various products.
Elizabeth White, with her White Company, makes it easier for merchants to accept cryptocurrencies for payment, even if they don’t know anything about the technology. With her White Market luxury store, she’s made it possible to acquire an assortment of luxury items, “from Pamp Suisse gold to Lamborghinis, to trips around the world, so anything your heart desires that you would like to spend your cryptocurrency on, we can facilitate.”
The White Company is doing everything cryptocurrency-related, from mining to having a stablecoin, and recently, they have just launched a reloadable debit card called the White Card. “[W]hat is exciting is we’ll be the first reloadable cryptocurrency debit card that will accept Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Cash [ABC], [BTC], Ethereum, and XLM,” White said.
She believes it is important to make blockchain technology as accessible as possible to foster adoption. This is why she prefers having users transact with email addresses, “compared to using an actual long blockchain hash or private keys, secure keys, storing them. And this will never move to masses till we actually are able to consolidate the process. So with our products, we have been able to transfer funds, quickly and easily, with three-second settlements, just with your e-mail address.”
Merchants can use White Label Solutions, which allows cryptocurrency payments to be settled in fiat, in the currency preferred by the seller. White said, “[T]hey can accept cryptocurrency, and the fees are much lower than, say, a Visa or a Mastercard. We’re actually only charging 0.1% for merchants to accept cryptocurrency and then convert directly into fiat and settle, where you have things with Visa and Mastercard that are 3%-7%, and if you’re a high-risk merchant, up to 11%… Merchants still accept that, but there are easier ways, and the future is to accept the cryptocurrency which allows them to give back to their employees, have better revenue and returns, and give back to their, maybe, stock owners or investors.”
Watch Elizabeth White’s presentation, Building a Two-Sided Network, at the CoinGeek Week Conference in London below.
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Elizabeth White has a big announcement to make during her appearance at the CoinGeek Week Conference. She’s not giving much away in advance, but promises that “it’s a ground-breaking innovation that brings cryptocurrency to the real world in a way that you can use every day - across the whole range of retailers and services.”
And it’ll further the aims of her crypto retailer The White Company, which she founded only last year. “We provide a service …how to convert your crypto holdings into something that you actually like - like a Lamborghini.”
Speaking from her office in New York, Elizabeth said that those mythical Lamborghinis, so beloved of crypto traders, are very real in her world. She’s already sold an amazing 41 of them in exchange for crypto, along with a collection of other luxury items worth $150 million in old money.
You might imagine those sales will often involve some complex cross-border transactions, but Elizabeth says most of her customers want to buy things that are sourced in their own countries. “I really don’t see it as people just wanting to buy a Rolls Royce in the States so they don’t have to buy it in their own state and claim tax wherever - because you still have to title everything, you still have to let the government know what’s going on.”
One of the main attractions of The White Company for crypto millionaires was because it used to be slow to get crypto converted to fiat through an exchange: if you wanted to get $300,000 out in a day, “you’d be sitting there for months …paying fees every time and having to report every little detail about where the transactions were coming from.”
The White Company provided a solution: “it was a lot easier for people to say ‘I have $300,000 worth of crypto, can you exchange this into a car?’. The answer is ‘yes we can do it that day’.”
And by setting an immediate price, the buyer isn’t subject to changes because of the volatility of crypto, “so we were able to create real time trades, real time amounts, not keep going back and forth with them.”
Elizabeth isn’t worried about the falling value of cryptocurrencies since the start of the year. “There were a lot of uneducated purchases made in the market that were just based on gut. The ‘free money’ thing doesn’t last forever.” She’s similarly level-headed about the flurry of new coins, launched with ICOs: “you can’t just trust that because it’s a coin it’s going to go somewhere just because other coins have gone somewhere. A lot of things don’t need blockchain - they just don’t.” The bottom line is “I think it should teach people that they should actually research …before investing, just like they do with anything else.”
While she is a realist - “I don’t think cryptocurrency was made just to make people wealthy from nothing” - Elizabeth is also a long-term optimist: “I think there is a true use case for it. And the case might not even be seen for the next five years.”
But we don’t have to wait five years for important developments in crypto. Back to her big announcement at the conference, Elizabeth told me “if you want to entice people to come along, you can tell them we’re giving everyone a free ******.”
Sorry folks - you’ll just have to be there to find out what that is.
Elizabeth White will be speaking on Building a Two Sided Network on November 29 at the CoinGeek Week Conference in London.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
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