Swiss MVNO Digital Republic has started to accept cryptocurrencies as an official means of payment. SIM cards and subscriptions can now be paid for with Bitcoin Cash, Dai, Litecoin and USD Coin, in addition to the two most popular currencies, Bitcoin and Ether. Digital Republic launched as data-only provider in June 2019, offering an IoT data plan (CHF 4.00 or US $4.34 a month at 400/200 Kbps), a smartphone/tablet data plan (CHF 10.00 or US $10.85 a month at 10/5 Mbps) and a home/office data plan (CHF 40.00 or US $43.40 a month at 300/150 Mbps). Since May 2021, Digital Republic has also been offering a 5G plan (CHF 50.00 or US $54.24 a month for 2 Gbps/300 Mbps) and since June 2021 all customers have been able to activate a voice option offering unlimited calls and messages within Switzerland for CHF 10.00 a month. Digital Republic runs on the mobile network of Sunrise-UPC.
The days when cryptocurrencies were the flavor of the month are long over. Rather than a fad, crypto is now a fully fledged participant in the global financial system, and despite some ups and downs and the comings and goings of certain short-lived currencies, it is here to stay. With that in mind, it is certainly appropriate for mobile operators to accept cryptocurrency payments for services and products.
It seems particularly appropriate for an MVNO that specializes in data-only offerings to accept crypto payments, given that adoption of crypto is higher among younger users and that those users are likely to be heavy data users. MVNOs skew younger in terms of target demographic. It is also noteworthy that with regard to the entry of cryptocurrency into the mobile sphere generally, the blockchain technology that powers crypto is also key to the architecture of encryption that keeps mobile signals secure.
Digital Republic has an interesting slate of offerings, notable for its emphasis on data only and a large degree of flexibility. The prices of the plans are differentiated according to data speed (typical of European mobile markets) and these speeds are targeted to particular usage patterns and demands, such as low speed for IoT and higher speeds for home/office and 5G