FDT Secures $2.15m to Launch First Debit and Credit Card Rail

First Digital Trust received $2.15 million in funding from investors to launch crypto solutions for businesses in Asia.

First Digital Trust (FDT), a custodian of traditional and digital assets operating in Asia, has announced that it has secured $2.15 million in funding from investors. FDT is Asia’s only qualified custodian of both traditional and digital assets. The funding was led by Asian venture studio Nogle.

The new cash inflow has resulted in the launch of a debit and credit card rail that allows seamless card payments. This card rail takes the form of an intuitive widget that merchants can use for international payments. Vincent Chok, CEO of First Digital Trust, said that the goal was to make entry into the digital assets space easier for incumbents,

“Credit and debit rails appear as a minor addition to servicing digital assets, but many companies have lost business due to the high-level minimum requirements and financial burdens associated with integrating these services. Our mission is to open the getaway for open banking in Asia through regulated and compliant payment solutions.”

One of FDT’s goals is to help incumbents work with the crypto market without fear of compliance or onboarding issues. Crypto remains obtuse to many individuals and companies in the mainstream, and FDT wants to give businesses the tools they need.

To this end, FDT has undergone integrations and formed partnerships. It integrated Fireblocks, making it a custodian for investors, family offices, financial institutions, and exchanges.

Asia is one of the strongest crypto markets, with several institutions pouring billions into the asset class. Statista conducted a survey on the usage of crypto in Asian countries, which saw significant Asian interest. 20%+ in Vietnam and the Philippines have used it last year.

Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal also have their sights set on crypto

Payment providers and financial institutions across the world are working intensely on cryptocurrencies, after accepting their legitimacy last year. Mastercard and Visa, which are competing with cryptocurrency networks, have allocated more resources towards research and development.

Both companies have formed cryptocurrency divisions, with Visa already settling transactions on Ethereum with USD Coin. It’s also assisting banks in rolling out Bitcoin solutions and trading services. This is a remarkable turnaround from its position a few years ago.

Of course, PayPal is the most notable of these companies. When it announced support for cryptocurrencies late last year, the market reacted extremely positively. This will likely continue as the company is expected to launch international support for the asset class this year.