Coinbase has been one of the most important exchanges in the crypto community, offering optimal service to its users, including new digital assets for our wallet and innovating with new services, such as the launch of the Visa debit card. which was initially offered for the United Kingdom and now, there are more than 6 countries that can make purchases through this payment system.
This is a Visa debit card that works without contact and is automatically synchronized with the user’s Coinbase account. The objective of this launch is to make it easier for customers to pay both online and in physical stores, using cryptocurrencies.
When the first launch arrived in the United Kingdom, Coinbase CEO of the region, Zeeshan Feroz, expressed during an interview for CNBC that this card can be used at any retailer in the world that accepts it, not exclusively in the United Kingdom, which It would come true only a couple of months later in countries like Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Feroz had also explained that this tool would give users the ability to spend and invest in digital currencies from a common platform, which drives the adoption of digital assets by different sectors of the economy in the continent.
How was the adoption process in the UK?
After the launch in the first European region of this debit card, users were free to decide which wallet they wanted to use for payment through a new application of the Coinbase Card.
The exchange office announced that the first 1,000 cards requested would be delivered free of charge to UK users, who should register for a waiting list. After that, these users should buy each card for the cost of 5 pounds sterling (approximately $ 6.60). This debit card does not require minimum monthly fees to keep it open, which is a clear benefit over traditional cards. In addition, customers would be able to withdraw up to 200 pounds per month from ATMs using this card.
It is important to note that Coinbase has the electronic money license of the United Kingdom to allow payments. After a trial process that took place between the months of April and May, which would analyze the movements and adaptability of the stores, the exchange was prepared to apply for the European electronic money license to expand to other countries of the continent. The rise in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies accepted in the Coinbase wallet was an important factor in the adoption process by different businesses regarding payment in crypto.
Coinbase stated that it had partnered with payment service provider PaySafe in the United Kingdom to issue the cards. When a user makes a payment with the card, the system automatically converts the encryption into fiat, that is, in euros in the newly launched markets and in pounds in the UK market. However, Coinbase charges users a conversion fee.
A BTC debit card that extends across Europe
The card is joined by an application for mobile devices, available for Android and iOS operating systems, from which the associated account can be managed. The physical product can be used at ATMs to withdraw fiat money.
In addition to the foregoing, Coinbase ensures that users can use their cryptocurrencies as a means to acquire goods and services through businesses that accept Visa brand cards. Users can decide which cryptocurrency they want to use to make a payment through the application, while the exchange is in charge of converting the crypto assets into fiat money, in exchange for a small commission for the operations performed.
Zeeshan Feroz said:
“It is already possible to buy products with Bitcoin (BTC) in a supermarket, and then pay for a coffee using Litecoin (LTC).”
Throughout this year Coinbase has been expanding its service line, as these are now available in 50 other countries, offering commercial support for its USDC stablecoin in at least 85 nations. The exchange recently added the DAI stablecoin to its Coinbase Earn program, so users will receive rewards for watching educational videos.
The vice president of business of Coinbase, Emilie Choi, said that the company is not currently investing in the decentralized exchange sector, dispelling the doubts and hypotheses that arose after the acquisition of the Paradex platform last year. Choi also spoke about the importance of, in case of offering a DEX, working in the most reliable and safe options and that, although they are not currently working on any specific project with respect to this space, they find the area of great interest.
Is the launch of a crypto debit so important?
More and more credit and debit card companies, online banks and platforms are exploring the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. For some time we have services that allow us to have debit cards or prepaid cards with bitcoins, to use our cryptocurrencies in almost any trade. Basically, these cards are recharged with BTC and with them we pay in euros or dollars instantly.
Although the Blockchain and cryptocurrency community has been growing exponentially for more than 8 years, there are still a lot of people who do not correctly handle the concept of what a digital asset is really like or how to operate with them in areas like the financial market. This group of individuals usually consider these tokens only as a method of transactions to obtain some good and even though it is not bad (one of the main objectives of crypto is to function as a payment system), at present we could benefit from services based on debit cards to streamline certain operations and facilitate the purchase and sale of products to people who manage their economy in cryptocurrencies.
It is rumored that after this so-called test stage with the 6 countries, the number of countries that can access the application will expand, doubting whether the United States will be soon, considering the strict regulations it has. With this project, we could say that we are one step closer to recognizing cryptocurrencies as a method of payment, for which reason, the discussion reappears if we can consider them as money.
There is a long list of platforms or companies that still offer debit cards with bitcoins – in some cases with other cryptocurrencies – and new ones that have emerged. It must be said that many of the companies we will see here do not enjoy much popularity or are just beginning, while others already have a good part of the way traveled.
- The European exchange house SpectroCoin launched its card service towards 2015. The card cost 7 euros at that time and included the possibility of making payments at points of sale or withdrawals at ATMs from a bitcoin wallet.
- This is a Spanish startup that offers a rechargeable debit card with euros or bitcoins called Bitcard that costs € 10. Bitcard can be used in millions of stores and businesses worldwide. The novelty with the startup of the Iberian territory is that it also offers the service with the DASH cryptocurrency.
- Based in San Francisco, United States, ShiftPayments company offered debit cards through Visa that could be used for payments and withdrawals around the world. At the moment, the service seems to be still working, even though your Twitter account has been inactive since 2016. The Shift Payments debit card comes with an application for smartphones with which users can check their funds and follow their transactions. Without annual fees, the issuance of the card or its replacement by a new one has a cost of 10 dollars and a rate of 3% for international transactions.
- The currently called ANXPRO, is a Hong Kong company that accepted bitcoins in exchange for recharging their customers’ cards so they can use them around the world. The platform does not charge commissions for transactions, bank transfers or bitcoin transfers.
- The London based startup CoinJar has been offering its debit card services for a few years now. The CoinJar Swin debit card is used to buy and withdraw cash exclusively in Australia, where the company was originally located. Users can link their local card and bank account to get global access to their money through the bitcoin network.
Other personalities have claimed to have plans to launch debit cards to which you can deposit and make payments in Bitcoin, as it is in the case of eccentric businessman John McAfee. A little over a month ago the creator of the antivirus “McAffee” announced through his Twitter account the launch of his own debit card, which would have his face captured in the design in the first 12,000 copies, plus a QR code which may be used for deposits in BTC. Although its statements seem to be solid, McAffee is recognized for initiating projects that do not end, which is why the crypto community prefers to wait to see the results on its own.
Coinbase is in a period of excellence as an exchange, despite the departure of its former president and chief operating officer Asiff Hirji. New services and permits will continue to be issued, as will the opening of Coinbase Earn to a new list of countries that previously were not allowed to access the program to earn cryptocurrencies while learning from them. The exchange has been working hard on contributions to the community, always aiming for the inclusion of new members who do not know cryptocurrencies in full.
Regarding the coins that we can store in our Coinbase wallet and trading options, the exchange has also allowed the use and holding of the USDC stablecoin in almost 90 countries (as aforementioned) a fact that will allow the creation of a savings system by users who seek to maintain a fixed income in cryptocurrencies without suffering the possible falls involved in volatility in many of these digital assets.