Bitcoin Wallet Xapo Announces a Global MasterCard Debit Card

Bitcoin wallet provider Xapo has announced the launch of a bitcoin debit card – a new product it is lauding as the first to allow virtual currency users similar spending freedoms to traditional debit cards.

The digital version of the Xapo debit card can be used for online purchases and is free, but the physical version (which you can bring with you as you move about) will come with a one-time fee to cover shipping and handling. Photo: Xapo

The digital version of the Xapo debit card can be used for online purchases and is free, but the physical version (which you can bring with you as you move about) will come with a one-time fee to cover shipping and handling. Photo: Xapo

Update: CoinDesk received a notification from MasterCard Incorporated saying that they do not have a formal relationship with Xapo, the creator of underground bitcoin vaults, also stating that they didn’t know anything about the Xapo’s product plans.

“MasterCard does not have a relationship with Xapo. There is no card program currently available,” said MasterCard’s representative.

Right after this story was updated, Wences Casares, the CEO of Xapo contacted CoinDesk to clear up the misunderstanding. He stated that the company is currently cooperating with a bank to launch the Xapo debit card product, but it has not selected a credit card network. However, it was initially planning to choose the MasterCard network. Casares said:

“If you were to ask me yesterday, I would have said it would definitely be MasterCard, because the cards we have been testing are MasterCard. The cards that we have need a network. If it’s not MasterCard, it’s going to be Visa or Discover, but it will have a network.”

Casares pointed out that he is still discussing the potential cooperation of MasterCard and Xapo Debit Card product.

Xapo Worldwide Credit Card

Xapo, a California based bitcoin wallet provider, has announced the upcoming release of bitcoin credit card that can be used worldwide. The card will allow its users to use bitcoins in places where marstercard is accepted at physical locations and online card. The card is similar to traditional credit card the only difference is that it uses bitcoins.

The company is offering two types of cards: physical and digital. The orders of the card are starting today and the shipping starts in about two motnhs. You can get a free credit card ust for online purchases or order a physical card for a small $15 fee.

How It Works

The functionality of the card is similar to a simple bank card you use, but unlike a common card it processes transactions in real time, checking if the amount is available on your bitcoin wallet. The currency conversions will be made according to the Bitstamp rate.

Mr. Casares said: “This one is just like a debit card, because it debits from the wallet directly. You don’t have to be thinking about funding it and how much and when the conversion happens.”

Moreover, Xapo credit card offers two ways to store your Bitcoins: a wallet and a vault. The latter one stores your money in offline cold storage that is fully secured.

Users of Xapo only need to move bitcoin from their vaults to their company-issued hot wallets when more funds are required.

The main goal of Xapo is to develop infrastructure of the bitcoin network and provide users with tools that make it easy to use bitcoin.  And only time will show whether the company succeeds or not.

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