Edge, the company behind the Edge cryptocurrency wallet, announced today the launch of a new "Confidential Mastercard" that requires no personal identifiable information to use.
"Not a name, not a phone number, not an email address," Edge co-founder and CEO Paul Puey told Decrypt in an interview. "Definitely not your actual address, nothing. You can create a virtual card in around 15 seconds inside of Edge."
While privacy is a key appeal for crypto enthusiasts, Puey said economic empowerment is the defining principle behind the Edge Mastercard. "I've known a handful of people that are unbanked; they simply cannot get a bank account for whatever reason," he said. The new card is not only for Bitcoin. Puey tells Decrypt that users can sell Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Dash to fund their Edge Mastercard for use at eligible merchants in the United States.
Edge says the card is issued through a Mastercard template program with Connecticut-based Patriot Bank. Nonetheless, a MasterCard spokesperson reached out to Decrypt after publication to emphasize that Mastercard has no official involvement with Edge's card. A spokesperson for Edge responded, "As far as this template card program is concerned with Patriot Bank, it is approved. The specific item that has not been approved is the custom-designed card that we intend to have… the dark blue card with the mint Bitcoin logo that we've shared in our imagery with these announcements."
Mastercard's response to Edge's launch announcement is especially interesting since Edge CEO Puey told Decrypt in his interview, “MasterCard is involved in the entire process. They fully approved this, it’s fully legal and approved by MasterCard. It fits entirely within their framework.”
At launch, the Edge Mastercard will have a daily spend limit of $1,000 and can be used with Apple Pay with Samsung and Google Pay coming later. The option to order a physical card for $20 is coming later this month.
To fund their account, Edge customers sell their Bitcoin inside their wallet and send the USD to their Edge Mastercard to make purchases instead of sending the funds to a bank account.
There are no fees to add funds to a card, Puey adds, explaining that those who wish to shop at an online store can copy and paste their card's information and add a shipping/billing address to the order.
Edge is the latest among Web3 companies making its way into the Bitcoin payments space for making everyday purchases. In April, Digital asset manager Nexo partnered with Mastercard to launch a Mastercard-backed crypto card in selected European markets. In December, Ledger announced the launch of a debit card that will let users spend their crypto directly or as collateral for cash purchases using the Ledger Live platform.
Editor's note, 5:40 p.m. EST: This story has been updated based on outreach from Mastercard and subsequent response from Edge.