Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced the launch of a new debit card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.
The product will initially only be available to customers in the United Kingdom, but they will be able to use the card to buy goods anywhere in the world.
The payments can be made through contactless payments, as well as with the chip and pin method. Users can also withdraw cash from ATMs, directly from their cryptocurrency holdings.
A big milestone for cryptocurrency
While crypto has long been considered a way to avoid the mainstream banking system, this move from Coinbase is expected to see a spike in the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
The card has an issuance cost of £4.95, which is waived for the first 1000 users to apply.
As it is a Visa card, it will be accepted anywhere the payment system is accepted in the world.
Upon using the card, Coinbase instantly converts the user’s cryptocurrency holdings into GBP, or the corresponding fiat currency of the area.
The holdings are directly converted into fiat, as long as they are contained within the user’s Coinbase account. The merchant receiving the payment also receives the payment in fiat.
This means that becomes easier for those with a majority of their net worth in crypto to spend more money. Anyone who wishes to use cryptocurrencies in their every day life will also benefit, as it will increase the ease of access of such transactions.
Helping users track their spends
Coinbase has also released the Coinbase Card application, which allows users to keep track of what wallets they are using with the Coinbase Card.
The app will offer summaries of transactions made using the card, the types of purchases which have been made and instant receipts upon payment.
Coinbase says the card has a multitude of features to prevent unauthorised parties from gaining access.
Along with a 2-step verification process, users can also freeze the card instantly if they detect any suspicious transactions.
A new approach to using cryptocurrencies
Naysayers of the technology have always maintained that it was difficult or even impossible to use cryptocurrencies as a global payments system, but this card means it is now truly usable anywhere.
Coinbase also mentioned that it plans to offer this card in other European countries, expanding the base of individuals who can use cryptocurrencies for every day payments.
The usage of such a card will not comes as a surprise to US citizens, as it has already been taken upon by various companies such as Wirex. The company offers a card similar to Coinbase, but a Coinbase account is not required to use it.