One of the leading bitcoin wallet providers Coinbase has launched its first bitcoin debit card that will enable customers in the United States to pay with the use of digital currency at merchants all over the world. Backed by Visa, the new card is the result of collaboration with Shift Payments, a startup that has been developing virtual currency credit card for more than a year.
Despite the widespread adoption of digital currency, there are still a lot of brick-and-mortar and online stores in the US that don’t accept bitcoin payments. With the new service, people will be able to use bitcoin for making purchases at stores accepting Visa cards.
Called Shift Card, the cryptocurrency debit card is the first one that supports Coinbase account. Besides, the users will be able to spend money via online payment system Dwolla. Customers can use Dwolla account as a backup in case their Coinbase wallet is empty.
When you acquire something with Shift Card, the equivalent sum of the purchase in bitcoin will be debited from a Coinbase wallet. Meantime, users won’t be able to spend over $1,000 daily and withdraw more than $200 per day from a Coinbase account.
Coinbase does not charge clients for converting bitcoin into US dollars, as well as for domestic transactions. However, the company noted that a fee is zero for a limited period of time, so users may be charged in the future. Meantime, there are a 3% international transaction fee and a $2.50 ATM fee.
In order to get the card, you should first connect your Coinbase account, enter your physical address and pay a $10 issuance fee in digital currency.
The Shift Card is available to residents in Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Washington D.C., and West Virginia.
There is a growing amount of companies that start incorporating virtual currency, including such giants as Amazon, Microsoft, Overstock and PayPal. Besides, there are more firms developing bitcoin payments solutions for merchants.
The launch of the Shift Card plays a big role for the bitcoin community, as it provides more opportunities to easily spend digital currency.
There are also other bitcoin wallet providers offering bitcoin debit cards that can be used at traders globally. A few months ago, UK-based E-coin launched a debit card that is used at over 25 million merchants accepting VISA. Opened in 2014, the firm processes over $1 million per month and serves more than 50,000 customers around the globe. Earlier this month, the company reported that it raised more than $160,000 during a crowdfunding campaign, what demonstrates the growing interest from investors.