Coindesk News Opens MCO Visa Card to European Union said Friday it has begun shipping its crypto-to-fiat card, the MCO Visa, across the European Union.

In total, 31 European countries, including the EU’s 27 member states, now have access to the card that lets users pay in crypto, it said in a blog post. The Hong Kong company received approval to bring the program to the European market in October.

MCO Visa was previously only available in the U.S. and Asia. also announced Thursday its U.S. cardholders could begin integrating with Apple and Google Pay. 

The card works by exchanging users’ crypto for local fiat when the user loads crypto onto the card. claimed in a blog post it already had “thousands of reservations” from EU consumers lined up for the MC Visa card and further claimed its user base was over two million. 

CEO Kris Marszalek said in the blog post the expansion to a potential market of half a billion people continues’s plot for world domination.

“As our fiat support matures, our cards will be even better positioned to take over the world,” he said.

Exactly how many people have actually joined the revolution is unclear. A company spokesperson declined to share MCO Visa Card sign-up numbers with CoinDesk.

The launch comes days after announced that it had secured $360 million in total crypto insurance policies for its bitcoin vaults.

It also immediately follows news that Visa, the payments giant licensing’s card, may be designing a cryptocurrency-backed system of its own. A patent awarded to Visa Thursday envisions a system in which central banks convert physical fiat into their digital equivalent.

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Visa Patent Filing Would Allow Central Banks to Mint Digital Fiat Currencies Using Blockchain

Visa looks to be laying the groundwork for a future in which fiat currencies, like the U.S. dollar, could be easily turned into a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The California-based payments giant, which processes upwards of 100 million transactions every day on average, has filed a patent application for a process for turning physical fiat currency into a newly digitized version.

The filing, which was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in November and made public on Thursday, says the system would be able to mint new digital fiat currency and keep a tally of all issuances on the blockchain. Managed by a “central entity computer,” the system would also remove physical cash from circulation.

By the sounds of it, newly created digital fiat would be the exact equivalent, like for like, with physical cash. The denomination and serial number would even be carried over into the new system. The patent also says some sort of “trusted certificate” would be required to mint the digital cash, presumably to keep issuance a tightly controlled process.

Visa doesn’t give much away about what a “central entity computer” would be specifically, though the filing states: “A central entity may be a central bank, which regulates a monetary supply.”

Part of its role, it seems, is to act as a monetary overseer, charged with managing volumes and ensuring the value of the digital currency always remains linked to the physical fiat. The central computer would also be the only one able to generate new digital cash; the sole gatekeeper for value entering the ecosystem.

There’s no sense from the filing that other entities, public or private, would play a role in the ecosystem. Visa assumes the entity running the central computer would have the authority to take physical fiat currency out of circulation, and even destroy it.

It’s important to stress that just because Visa has filed this patent application doesn’t necessarily mean they are intent on developing a digital fiat currency system. What it does show, however, is existing electronic payments firms, ones that have done extraordinarily well in the existing legacy system, are now also exploring new innovations in the realm of money.

On May 12, Visa was also awarded a patent for a detokenization system – a means to redeem an asset locked up in token format.

CoinDesk asked Visa whether the company was drawing up a digital fiat currency system in anticipation that it could become a crucial infrastructure provider for future CBDCs. A spokesperson hadn’t responded by press time.

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Sean Hannity Pleads With the Anti-Lockdown Protesters He Praised: Please, No Rifles

In back-to-back segments on Monday night, Fox News star Sean Hannity—who has repeatedly cheered on anti-shutdown protests against coronavirus stay-at-home orders—pleaded with demonstrators to keep their rifles and tactical gear at home.

Hundreds of protesters, many armed with long guns, swarmed Michigan’s Capitol building last Thursday to rail against the state’s continued shelter-in-place orders amid the pandemic. Images of gun-toting protesters storming and crowding the state house sparked bipartisan criticism, though President Donald Trump called them “very good people.”

Speaking to frequent guest Dan Bongino on Monday evening, Hannity—who has recently gushed over the protests—groused that the sight of demonstrators packing rifles and dressed in military gear is a “distraction” to the real message of reopening the economy.

No one is a “bigger defender” of the Second Amendment than he is, Hannity said, but still he blasted the demonstrators for adopting a “militia look,” claiming that it is “dangerous” and “puts the police at risk.”

“No one should be attempting to intimidate officials,” Hannity added. “God forbid something happens—they are going to go after all of us law-abiding Second Amendment people.”

After Bongino said he didn’t fully agree with the Fox host as “people are fed up,” Hannity snapped back that “nobody’s going to hear them” because they were showing force against law enforcement and government officials. 

Bongino relented somewhat, saying he felt that the “liberal media” would try to paint the armed protesters as a “crazed bunch of lunatics.” At the same time, he insisted they were standing up for the Constitution and Bill of Rights, prompting Hannity again to denounce the optics of it all.

“This is a distraction, though,” the pro-Trump host said. “I’m never going to take anyone’s rights. But this is a distraction.”

Later in the program, he posed the same question to Fox News contributors Tammy Bruce and Mike Huckabee, asking them both if they felt the armed protesters created a “tough environment where nobody can hear you.”

“I agree,” Huckabee responded. “Just because there’s some things we can do that doesn’t mean we should do.”

“I wish I said that,” Hannity said.

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