by Daniel Dob
The financial revolution that we have witnessed is bound to thoroughly change the financial system in the years to come. As both Bitcoin and other digital currencies have gained a massive amount of publicity and popularity, more and more crypto‐projects have been created to allow people to pay for their purchases by using Bitcoin.
One of these projects, which is likely to ensure the success of the cryptocurrency, is the emergence of Bitcoin debit and credit cards. These can be used just like normal cards in stores that don’t yet accept payments in bitcoin. Funds are generally converted from bitcoin to USD or other currencies at the time of purchase.
So far, there are a couple of providers offering Bitcoin credit cards, so we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular:
Bitstamp is a prominent Bitcoin‐related company that has acknowledged the benefits that BTC debit and credit cards can provide. Based on this, the card can be funded with BTC and then used to withdraw cash from ATMs and pay for services and goods at any store which has a POS in place.
The sign‐up process is easy and you’ll be required to pay a fee of only $10. However, transferring funds to your card is an addtional $10 per transfer up to $1000 and 2% for higher amounts. Bitstamp has 3 stages of verification. Stage 1 will allow you to use the card in stores, while the other two stages will grant you the possibility to withdraw funds and make larger transactions.
After a successful marketing campaign, the Bit‐X Debit Card is becoming a popular option on the market. It can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard to shop and pay for services and goods, but also to withdraw funds from most ATMs.
However, the system is still in its early stages; therefore, there are strict limits in place to prevent criminal activity. Customers will be able to send €250 per year without undergoing the verification process, $3,000 with basic verification and over €180,000 once completely verified by the provider. ATM cash withdrawal limits are similar, apart from the €1,000 yearly sum that is available with basic verification.
E‐Coin first launched in late 2014 and has since managed to attract a large number of customers in over 170 countries around the world. Once you have read and accepted the terms and conditions, you’ll be directed to the sign‐up page. There is a one‐time set‐up cost and a $1.00 USD monthly maintenance cost, but usage fees are fairly low. To begin with, the transaction limits imposed are strict, but once you’ve verified your identity, you’ll be able to use the card anywhere that accepts Visa. Furthermore, funds are protected by BitGo’s multisig technology and fully insured by XL Group, a global insurance company.
SpectroCoin can be funded with Bitcoin and then used to withdraw funds from ATMs or to purchase products and services.
To get things started, you’ll have to order the card via an intuitive registration platform. Do keep in mind the fact that there are some fees. For example, ATM withdrawal in the UK will cost €2.25 for each transaction, whereas international ATM withdrawals will cost €2.75 per transaction. At present, €1,000 is the maximum single ATM withdrawal amount. Once you have been verified by the company, you can withdraw up to €10,000 daily.
The XAPO card has recently gained a lot of popularity. Part of its appeal is that users can make payments directly from a XAPO wallet which, in itself, is a very popular product, allowing users to hold multiple currencies.
Fees associated with setting up and using a XAPO card are a little bit higher than with some of the other cards, but users seem to appreciate the convenience and security associated with the debit card’s connection to the XAPO wallet.
These are just a few of the many other Bitcoin credit cards that are appearing on the market. While the restrictions are higher than what banks would normally impose, we all have to understand that we’re dealing with a currency that is still at the very beginning of its journey.
Overall, these developments in accessibility and convenience will surely increase the number of people investing in bitcoin and using the currency on a daily basis.