Blockchain personal finance platform Wirex has passed $1 billion worth of transactions since setting up in 2014.

The London-based start-up has amassed 800,000 customers and will open an Asian headquarters in Tokyo this week due to high demand for cryptocurrency participation across Asia.

A total of 30 new people will be hired in highly skilled technology and marketing roles in its London office to support Japanese customer growth.

International trade secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “The UK has a world leading FinTech sector and Wirex is a strong example of a UK business taking advantage of the global trading opportunities available to them as they grow, encouraging investment and creating jobs.

“As an international economic department it’s important that we continue to build upon our already strong trade relationships with global partners like Japan as we leave the EU.”

Wirex provides cryptocurrency digital wallets, plastic and virtual pre-paid Visa cards around the world.

Customers can quickly convert between Bitcoin and national currencies, including British pounds, US dollars and Japanese yen using Wirex’s app.

They can also make Bitcoin payments. The app offers online payments, payouts, acceptances, salaries and international money transfers, globally, in minutes.

READ MORE: Tech platform targets the end of plastic loyalty cards

Pavel Matveev, CEO at Wirex, said: “As a high growth, British start-up expanding rapidly around the world, our new Tokyo office ensures we are well positioned to meet customer demand across Asia.

“A third of our $1 billion transactions were made by Japanese customers so we are pleased to provide greater value with dedicated teams to meet their needs.”

Wirex achieved £2.4 million of inwards investment and Series A backing from Japanese financial conglomerate, SBI Holdings, after participating in a UKTI trade mission and winning the Finsum Tokyo pitch run last year.

Matveev continued: “Support from the UK’s Department for International Trade directly enhances our capacity to find higher value users and to adopt a proactive approach to growth markets.”

Wirex advocates for the UK’s unrivalled position as the global leader in FinTech to stakeholders across Europe, joining FinTech trade missions in Serbia, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and travels to The Netherlands next month.

Bitcoin payments are peer-to-peer and completely cut out the need for banks. International payments, such as sending money to loved ones abroad, is considerably cheaper.

We reported yesterday how blockchain technology could help prevent shipping cyber attacks.

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