A short history, next steps, and new partner highlights!
Few people may know this: Wyre was founded in November 2013 and was initally called Snapcard. During those early days, we experimented with services like “Pay your taxes with Bitcoin”, buying stuff on Amazon/eBay with Bitcoin, eventually launching a web+mobile wallet that supported Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Doge. We also powered Microsoft Bing’s Bitcoin-as-a-Reward Program. Those were fun days for sure.
In 2015, in the heat of the year of “blockchain not bitcoin”, we started using “Bitcoin-as-a-rail” for cross border payments by aggregating liquidity across regional exchanges to derive traditional FX rates, then leveraging local banking rails to complete FX payouts. Suddenly B2B payments to Brazil, China, and Korea were faster and cheaper than SWIFT/Western Union.
Over the years, Wyre evolved into a licensed financial institution across multiple jurisdictions. As an infrastructure provider, we became the plumbing to outstanding teams like GoLance for BTC payouts to independent contractors, Opennode for BTC → Fiat merchant settlements, Shapeshift, and BRD for buying Bitcoin with ACH + selling Bitcoin back to your bank account. The stakes started getting higher for sure, but we stayed with BTC during the scaling debate of 2016, never did an ICO in 2017, and launched WyreOTC in 2018, where 85% of trading volume deals in Bitcoin to this day.
On this 6th anniversary of Wyre, we wanted to share some thoughts on our next steps. Building fiat onramps is not an easy task. Identity validation, fraud prevention, regulatory compliance, dealing with banks, and legacy payment systems, these off-chain components need to be robust to support various use cases at scale. Cash to Lightning. Cash to BTC Sidechains. These are some of the use cases in the works at Wyre.
Our goal is to lower the barriers to entry for partners by productizing our battle scars. Those include payments, liquidity, compliance in a box, all of which will enable teams of any size to go to market faster and grow the industry at an unprecedented pace.
We know the financial revolution is on the horizon, and we believe the cornerstone of that revolution will be led by Bitcoin. We want to help as many people to #getoffzero as possible, whether that is through “Stacking Sats” by dollar-cost averaging, or collecting “Sat’s Back” on retail purchases through platforms like Fold. It takes a village of warriors to get it done, and we’re honored to serve alongside veterans as well as new players in the space.
That being said, we’d like to introduce a few new partners using Wyre V2 on their platform. Please visit and support these companies!