By now, you’ve probably heard of all the far-reaching benefits of cryptocurrencies such as
Bitcoin over the fiat currencies. But its use, convenience and benefits are changing as you know them, thanks to the introduction of crypto cards.
For a while now, customers and business have not been having it easy transacting using digital money. Crypto debit and credit cards seem to be the ultimate solution for both buyers and sellers. And even as economies step up efforts to combat the impact of COVID-19, the reality of going cashless in a bid to limit contact with contaminated objects is fast kicking in. Governments now more than ever are cautioning its citizenries against the handling of cash to control the spread of the deadly virus.
With the introduction of crypto cards, players are now looking at the possibility of using virtual currencies to transact. It is now possible to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum or the EOS coin and use the proceeds to pay for that weekend getaway you’ve been yearning for in the Bahamas.
Crypto debit and credit cards
Both regular and crypto debit and credit cards perform the same tasks to the extent that if
you’ve used a VISA card, you shouldn’t encounter any challenges transacting on a Bitcoin card. Vendors that accept payments using crypto cards will allow you to swipe for goods and services. The cards afford you cash withdrawals from ATMs, online shopping, or purchases on selected stores. In essence, a digital currency card allows you to hold both fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies as it allows for the conversion of either currency. Loading money to your crypto cards is also quite straightforward.
Additionally, users can withdraw money directly from trading platforms that offer a secure BTC address such as PrimeXBT to their cards. Additionally, platforms like PrimeXBT that offer safe, secure storage of BTC through an internal wallet allow users to send Bitcin to their crypto-based credit and debit card accounts in just a few clicks.
How do they work?
Crypto cards allow bitcoin and other virtual currency traders to outmanoeuvre the challenge of converting to fiat. Bitcoin card providers will grant you the convenience of currency conversion between fiat and crypto, at rates generally less competitive than the markets in exchange for a layer of convenience.
Even when a merchant doesn’t accept Bitcoin payments, these cards make it easier to spend cryptos in fiat form.
So what exactly should you be looking out for in a cryptocurrency debit or credit card?
- Check for the number of supported currencies
- Where the card can be used
- Transaction fees or rates
- How the service works – Is it something you can get behind?
Another nice-to-have feature is the ability to lock in rates to avoid fluctuating currency values. Being a new market concept, don’t shy away from checking out several other options to find a great fit.
The bigwigs are in
There are massive opportunities for fintech companies looking to tap into the crypto cards
space. Already, payments giants such as PayPal are showing interest and have even promised to go a notch higher by providing cryptos themselves.
Visa hasn’t been left behind either. Official reports indicate that the firm is gathering enough manpower to run a fully-fledged digital currencies unit.
A part of Visa’s announcement on its planned role in crypto payments reads: “We believe that digital currencies have the potential to extend the value of digital payments to a greater number of people and places. As such, we want to help shape and support the role they play in the future of money.”
The company also mentioned that regulators still have concerns regarding digital money
including payments resilience and consumer protection. Visa recommends working closely with stakeholders including crypto companies and the public to address the issues raised.
PayPal, on its part, is said to be working closely with the European Commission to develop a framework for cryptocurrencies. A PayPal letter to the commission reads:
“Of particular interest for us is how these technologies and crypto-assets can be utilized to
achieve greater financial inclusion and help reduce/eliminate some of the pain points that exist today in financial services. We also have great interest in how these technologies can be used to promote transparency and enhance compliance efforts.”
Visa and PayPal are only but two interested players. Other native digital payment cards
providers are expected to fight it out with the fierce incoming competition. In the end,
stakeholders hope the rivalry brings with it a bullish sentiment and the much-needed capital in the digital assets sector.