Bitcoin

Fold Will Be Your Bitcoin Bank With CEO Will Reeves

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Fold Will Be Your Bitcoin Bank With Ceo Will Reeves

Founders: Will Reeves and Matt Luongo

Date Founded: 2014; Most recent iteration of company: 2019

Location of Headquarters: Remote

Amount of Bitcoin Held in Treasury: “Stacking since the founding of Fold”

Number of Employees: 22

Website: https://foldapp.com/

Public or Private? Private

Will Reeves wants Fold to be your bitcoin bank.

This may sound counterintuitive to hardcore Bitcoiners who believe that Bitcoin was created to replace banks, but Reeves, co-founder and CEO of Fold, an app that allows Bitcoin enthusiasts to earn bitcoin rewards on everyday purchases as well as DCA into bitcoin, sees things more pragmatically.

He believes that Fold will be the ultimate app to connect Bitcoin to not only the old world of traditional banking but to the new world of Bitcoin L2s, as well.

“You can think of us creating the bridge to Bitcoin for those that are used to banking with traditional banks,” Reeves told Bitcoin Magazine.

“We’re going to make the case why you should ditch your old bank and come to Fold, because we’re going to privilege and respect your bitcoin and unlock features that just don’t exist anywhere else,” he added.

“We also see a place on Fold for Lightning to facilitate faster and cheaper payments for our users who are using bitcoin as peer-to-peer cash. We also think that there’s a place for Liquid on Fold. And there’s [a place for] roll ups, BitVM, Ark, [too.]”

Before you start thinking that maybe this sounds too good to be true — that it’s impossible for one app to do all of this — it’s important to keep in mind that Reeves and his team have spent the last decade paying attention to what Bitcoin users want and need most and recalibrating Fold’s mission accordingly.

Fold’s Phases

Founded in 2014, Fold started out as a platform that helped users sell their unwanted gift cards for bitcoin. Not long after, the company started enabling its users to purchase gift cards with their bitcoin, as well. This helped Fold’s users make everyday purchases at establishments like Starbucks or at certain supermarkets.

In the company’s second phase, Reeves and his co-founder Matt Luongo flipped the script and started allowing users to buy gift cards with fiat, earning bitcoin rewards in the process.

“We evolved because we saw the larger problem was that not enough people had bitcoin and there weren’t enough good ways to get it,” explained Reeves. “That’s why we focused heavily on rewards — to give everyone a way to passively earn bitcoin without a lot of the risk, without needing much education.”

In this third iteration of Fold, Reeves believes that Fold users are ready to incorporate Bitcoin into their financial lives more broadly.

“We’re hoping to bring Bitcoin to the center of people’s lives,” he said. “The product has grown, and it’s not just about earning bitcoin rewards, but using bitcoin as your savings, regularly buying it and spending it.”

Making Fold A Bitcoin App For Everyone

Since its inception, Fold has been a bitcoin-only company. (Well, the platform supports US dollars, too, which some Fold users regard as just another “altcoin,” joked Reeves.)

Reeves seems to appreciate taking on the challenge of finding a balance between meeting the needs of hardcore Bitcoiners who are looking to make the most use of their bitcoin and those who are new to Bitcoin.

“One thing I’ve tried to do is bring the best possible people to create a product that is both intimately familiar with the needs of Bitcoiners, while at the same time making the features that we produce usable for people who are maybe just using Bitcoin for the first time,” said Reeves.

“We have a litmus test whenever we release things: The features need to be infinitely valuable to your local Bitcoin maximalist on Twitter and also good for that person to recommend to their mom, sister, brother or friend,” he added.

Reeves drew a parallel between using Fold and using an app like Duolingo, which serves different levels of language learners.

“Duolingo is both an app that is able to accommodate expert level language speakers looking to go to the next level as well as people who are looking for their first couple of vocabulary words in another language,” explained Reeves. “That is something our design team has heavily leaned into.”

Wen Fold International?

Currently, Fold only serves US residents, and when I asked my followers on X what they’d like me to ask Reeves before interviewing him for this piece, I received a number of “Wen International?” responses. (The “h” in “When” is intentionally missing for those who aren’t hip to Bitcoin slang.)

Reeves shared that Fold is on the verge of launching more products internationally, though the products might not appear under the Fold brand.

“We have currently built the infrastructure for Fold to expand into the likes of Canada and the UK, and we are going to lead with our rewards product first,” explained Reeves.

“When you start to think of other countries and their unique dynamics, sometimes Fold doesn’t have that expertise in that local market. So, we have built a platform that allows others to leverage our entire infrastructure,” he added.

“So, you want to build a Bitcoin bank? You want to build custody, trading, attached to a bank account with a debit card and all of that? You can leverage that technology to launch something internationally. That is going to allow us to expand much faster with experts in the local area.”

Reeves shared that this is how Fold’s intellectual property is currently at work in El Salvador — Bitcoin country — where the company has offices, before offering further insights into the value of Fold’s intellectual property (IP).

Fold’s IP

Because Fold was early to developing in the Bitcoin space, it currently has a tech stack that is of great value. Reeves shared that this is the case not only with Fold, but with many Bitcoin startups.

“We’re so early in this that essentially every Bitcoin startup that’s out there is building an immense amount of IP that doesn’t exist anywhere else,” shared Reeves.

He highlighted that what Fold has built is quite unique, though.

“Nobody has built what Fold has where you can have a Bitcoin wallet speaking to an FDIC-insured bank account that is attached to Visa that can flip back into bitcoin,” he explained.

He also believes that as bigger institutions enter the space, they’ll leverage what Fold has built as they create their own Bitcoin products and features.

“A lot of the value that Bitcoin companies are building now may look like consumer products today, but are actually full infrastructure plays that will be powering and underpinning products from the big logos when they want to jump into Bitcoin,” said Reeves.

“We all, as Bitcoin founders, look under the hood of what we’ve done and see, ‘Hey, this is going to be immensely valuable to a lot of people and a lot of partners,’” he added.

The Future Of Fold

Fold will soon make public new features for its app. While I can’t yet disclose what these features are (you’ll hear about them soon enough), I can share with you what Fold is looking to incentivize you to do, which, according to Reeves is the following:

“Ditch your bank that keeps shutting down your payments to buy Bitcoin. Ditch your bank that is blocking you from loans because you work at a Bitcoin company.”

“There’s no reason why Bitcoiners should be using fiat banks that cancel their bitcoin buys saying they’re risky payments,” Reeves added.

“Fold is creating a home that privileges people that hold bitcoin. This doesn’t really exist today.”

And beyond giving Bitcoin enthusiasts a better traditional banking experience and a great place to stack sats, Fold will is also looking to the future — to Bitcoin L2s like Lightning, Liquid and beyond.

“The vision really comes together when we say, ‘Hey, there’s no door that you cannot use your Bitcoin through. There’s no rail on which you cannot use it,’” explained Reeves. “Fold needs to deliver on ‘I hold bitcoin and I can seamlessly send value across traditional fiat rails. I can send value across Lightning. I can send value across Liquid and all expansive other definitions of other Bitcoin layers that can give new value to Bitcoiners.’”

Download the Fold app here.