SXP, the native token of Visa V card issuer Swipe, surged by 30% on Thursday after news that the Binance exchange – already a majority shareholder – will become the company’s sole owner.
The cryptocurrency reached an intra-day high of $2.02 before pulling back to $1.91 by 23:00 GMT on December 30, 2021.
Its strong performance defied sluggish activity in the wider market, with top-ten coins bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, XRP and Polkadot all moving less than 0.5% over the past 24 hours.
Binance previously acquired most of Swipe’s shares in July 2020 – a move that allowed it to launch the SXP-powered Binance Visa Card, which works like a debit card but lets users fund purchases with their digital assets.
The exchange will now buy the outstanding equity in Swipe, it said in a statement that did not address what the development means for SXP tokenholders and cardholders.
Swipe also runs a white-label B2B program that helps third parties launch their own crypto-backed debit cards. Derivatives exchange FTX became its most high-profile client in February, though the FTX Visa card has not yet been launched.
Following the completion of the share purchase, Binance said, Swipe founder and chief executive Joselito Lizarondo “will step down and leave Binance”.
However, Lizarondo plans to remain active as a key stakeholder in the Swipe blockchain – now rebranded Solar – by acquiring a sizable governance position through his proof-of-stake SXP holdings, and by launching the “Solar Ecosystem Growth Fund to invest in projects building on Solar”.
Lizarondo acknowledged that Swipe’s original vision of a becoming a retail-focused card issuer like Crypto.com was abandoned after Binance became a majority shareholder, with the company shifting its attention to back-end solutions and partnerships.
“Due to shareholder and senior leadership decisions, Swipe shifted its focus of products to more b2b commercial products with fees paid in SXP,” he noted. “This lead to products being created that were focused on Swipe, the company’s growth, and in turn removed some key products that were available.
“With this resignation, I will have the ability to focus on SXP as a community member.”
SXP has appreciated by 42% over the past year, but remains significantly below its all-time-high of $5.87 in May.