A leading producer of bitcoin-denominated debit cards, Xapo, moves from the U.S. to Switzerland. The company explains the move by the need to protect its customers’ privacy.

Xapo is a bitcoin company that provides bank cards nominated in bitcoin. In the summer of 2014, a group of experienced entrepreneurs, including PayPal cofounder Max Levchin, invested $20 million in Xapo. Originally it was based in Palo Alto but now it is moving to Switzerland.

The head of the company, Wences Kasares cites Swiss stability as one of the reasons to build the new headquarters in Zurich:

“The country’s regulatory stability, international neutrality and its deep-seated tradition in global finance also factored into the decision.”

Another reason was globalization:

“To better support and accelerate this focus we are moving our headquarters to the global financial center of Zurich, Switzerland. Our primary deep cold storage vault is also located in Switzerland, and at the request of our expanding global customer base, now is the time to bring our center of operations closer to the heart of our security infrastructure.”

Xapo will retain a small office in Palo Alto, California to work with American customers.

The news about Xapo is spreading fast in bitcoin community. Big players did not put forward their reaction while Reddit users are mostly positive:

“Wise move Wences. Might have another look at Xapo’s offering.”

Wences Kasares himself did not comment much on the news in his personal Twitter account. He retwitted a message by one of the investors who wished Xapo to establish good connections with the Swiss banks.

Xapo announced the decision immediately after another company, London-based Bit-x, announced the introduction of “bitcoin MasterCard”. Bit-x claims that “the card has no limit”, and the fees are very low. This looked like a taunting reference to Xapo who had some fee related problems about a year ago that have been since successively resolved.

 

Roman Korizky