Coinbase has taken a huge step towards crypto adoption by announcing a VISA debit card that finally cracks the crypto card conundrum – automatic crypto-fiat transactions. The card, announced early Thursday, allows UK customers to “spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank”, a promise has been made time and time again by crypto debit card pushers. However, Coinbase’s legitimacy as a serious player in the space lends further credence to the suggestion that a genuine solution has at last been found.
A Major Step Towards Crypto Adoption
None of the many crypto debit cards on the market have been able to offer instant crypto-fiat transactions, instead requiring the user to manually execute the exchange first before paying in the local currency. Even the most popular cards, such as Revolut and Wirex, have required this step, so the ability for Coinbase to employ it represents a major boost for adoption. UK Coinbase card holders will be able to spend BTC, ETH, LTC, and more anywhere where VISA cards are accepted within the UK, with the crypto instantly converted to GBP. Expansion into the EU is planned in the coming months.
Coinbase currently operates a Shift Card in the USA that allows users in selected states and territories to spend Bitcoin anywhere VISA is accepted, but replacing it with the Coinbase VISA card would represent a giant leap forward.
Latest in a Long Line
Crypto debit cards have had a checkered past, with many having come and gone over the years. The reputation of the entire industry was damaged in early 2018 when Wavecrest, a VISA card processor used by many of the crypto debit cards at the time, was blocked by VISA, rendering the cards useless. Polispay made a big splash recently when they added a number of altcoins to their Polis card, but it soon transpired that their card provider had only secured a deal for Mexican nationals, immediately rendering the card useless for most of the world’s population.
Hopefully, Coinbase has dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, so it won’t have a similar nasty surprise down the line. Should everything go as planned, the Coinbase card could represent the first real step towards using crypto cards for everyday purchases.
What do you think? Does the Coinbase card represent a paradigm shift in the way that crypto can be spent, or is it simply a marketing tactic that will go largely unused? Let us know in the comments below.