The world has began to recognize crypto currency as a true currency. Companies such as Subway, KFC Canada, Virgin, and Whole Foods now accept Bitcoin, with smaller companies joining in on the change too. So how to pay, that is were a bitcoin debit card comes in.
What is a Bitcoin card?
A Bitcoin debit card works just like an ordinary debit card you use to transact money from an ATM. However, instead of drawing money from a bank, the card draws crypto from a cryptocurrency wallet. You can top up your card with BTC which is then converted into fiat, which enables you to make purchases.
All Bitcoin cards work differently. Some are linked to your fiat accounts where you can move as much crypto and fiat to and from them as you like. Others hold your Bitcoin and convert it into fiat only at the time of the transaction. Finally, some convert the BTC into fiat as soon as you top it up.
Who are Bitcoin cards issued by?
Bitcoin itself is a decentralized currency and as such is not controlled by any individual government, company, or person. So the card you choose will not be issued by bitcoin itself but by one of the various crypto trading companies in the market.
- Pros – Wirex is a well established company having existed long before it’s rebranding from E-coin in 2006.
The company supplies a chip & pin visa debit card that can be loaded with several different cryptocurrencies as well as GBP or EUR.
- Cons – At the present time Wirex cards are only available to residents in the EEA (European Economic Area) but there are plans to make it available in North America and Asia in the near future.
Wirex has relatively high maintenance fees but you can review the entire range of fees here
- Pros – Coinbase is one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges around and as such you have little to fear that the company will disappear overnight.
As with Wirex, Coinbase will accept multiple different cryptocurrencies but at this stage you can not load the card with fiat currency.
- Cons – Coinbase only offers it’s card to residents of the larger European countries at present but we can always hope they will expand this in the future.
You can find out more about their fees here.
- Pros – Bitpay is a well known and trusted company but what set it apart from the others is it transactions fees, which are arguable the lowest available in the market.
You can see a full list of their fees here.
- Cons – On the downside bitpay cards are only available to US residents and bitcoin is the only accepted cryptocurrency.
- Pros – The TenX card follows closely behind the bitpay card with surprisingly low fees and supports a range of cryptocurrencies.
- Cons – The card is only available in a limited number of countries.
– Hong Kong
– New Zealand
With the advent of Bitcoin debit cards, it is becoming possible for currencies like Bitcoin to find meaning in users’ everyday lives, which has a larger impact on the development and growth of cryptocurrencies around the world.