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Just recently we reported on European bitcoin users having issues with their loadable bitcoin debit cards. Even though some of these businesses are having a few issues, there are many cryptocurrency debit cards available all around the world.
Since 2015 Bitcoin-Based Debit Cards Have Grown Very Popular
These days cryptocurrency enthusiasts have a lot more infrastructure than the early days when bitcoin was just getting started. One of the biggest trends of 2015-2017 was the rise of loadable cryptocurrency debit cards backed by Visa, Mastercard, and other financial institutions. Some of the cards like the Coinbase Shift card uses cryptocurrency funds directly while other cards like the Bitpay Visa users sell their bitcoin for a balance of fiat reserves. Depending on where the crypto-enthusiast lives they can order multiple types of cards and some cards also process digital assets like ethereum and bitcoin cash. Today we’re going to discuss the wide range of digital currency loadable debit cards that are available in many different countries.
Keep in mind that we previously reported this past week that Wavecrest Holdings Ltd. have been giving some cryptocurrency card companies issues. At the moment European issued bitcoin debit cards such as Cryptopay, Tenx, Bitwala, Bitpay (EUR), and Xapo are out of service.
“Once we are able to service Xapo Cards in your country again, we will offer you a new card free of charge — We are hard at work to find alternative card solutions for you,” explains Xapo’s announcement on January 5, 2018.
Bitwala Prepaid Debit Card
The Bitwala Visa card is a popular choice among European bitcoiners that offers prepaid balances in euro (EUR). The card is issued by a firm called Mychoice and a bank called Wavecrest Holdings Ltd. There is a single card load fee of 0.5 percent, and the company offers both virtual and physical cards. ATM fees cost 2.25 EUR, and all point-of-sale (PoS) transactions have no fees. Physical Bitwala debit cards can be used wherever Visa is accepted and cost €8.00, while virtual cards cost €2.00 per issuance.
The company Spectrocoin and its card service citizens living in the Baltic region. Balances can be loaded in USD, EUR, GBP with physical cards starting at €8.00 and virtual cards are sold for €0.50. There are no top-up fees, but Spectrocoin’s card charges €1.00 per month for service charges. If a resident from the Baltic States wants to use an ATM within the region or internationally prices can vary between $3.50/€2.75/£2.25 per withdrawal. Spectrocoin cards are also issued by the Mychoice company.
The Bitpay Visa
Bitpay offers a Visa card for both U.S. and European residents. Loading fees are free except when applying international currencies, and the top up also charges a bitcoin network fee. The card costs $10 USD to purchase, and the card is issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank in the U.S. and Wavecrest Holdings for European cards. Bitpay loads are a direct sale for fiat, and the BTC spot rate is based on multiple price indexes. Bitpay’s ATM fees are $2 per withdrawal, and PoS transactions are free.
Xapo Debit Cards
Xapo offers a popular debit card that can be loaded with BTC, and the physical card costs roughly €18.00. The company charges €2.25 for ATM withdrawals, and PoS transactions are free. Xapo transfers have real-time conversion and users only pay bitcoin network fees for the card that’s also issued by the firm Mychoice. Xapo cards have no annual fees, and a 3 percent foreign exchange fee is applied for those types of purchase. Xapo cards are not available in the U.S.
Coinbase Shift Card
The Coinbase Shift card is a popular card in the U.S. which deducts balances directly from BTC, LTC, BCH, and ETH wallets. Only one cryptocurrency wallet can be tethered to the Shift card that’s accepted by over 38 million Visa-accepting merchants worldwide. The card costs $10.00 to order and has a 0 percent BTC to USD conversion fee. Domestic ATM withdrawals are $2.50 while international ATM withdrawals are $3.50. Shift cards can be connected directly with Coinbase but also can be tethered to a Dwolla account as well.
The Coinsbank card offers both bitcoin and litecoin denominated loads offering both physical and virtual cards. The service also used to sell a “No Name” card, but the feature is temporarily unavailable. Otherwise, payments and withdrawals are only available for verified users with a card level 3. This allows cash withdrawals for verified users which is up to a 1000 EUR limit per 30 days. ATM withdrawals cost $4.95, and domestic transactions are free. There is a monthly fee of $0.95, and inactive users will be charged 4.95 if they don’t use the card after the second year. Coinsbank cards are not available in the U.S.
The company Wirex offers both virtual (free) and physical debit cards ($17) that can be loaded with a Wirex account. There is a $2.50 ATM fee for the card, and a $1 monthly service fee as well. Exchanging bitcoin to fiat is free except for the miner’s fee. The Wirex Visa card works by first funding the Wirex account and adding money in a local currency (such as USD or EUR). The physical card requires verification but the Wirex virtual card no identification is required. Wirex cards are not available for U.S. users.
29 Different Crypto-Cards Available Worldwide
There are many more cards available from various companies like Advcash, ANX, Mobi, and Worldcore.eu that offer different fees and can only be used in certain countries. At the moment, there are roughly 29 different debit card services that can be used with cryptocurrencies. So the idea that paying for real-world items with cryptocurrencies is difficult is kind of far-fetched.
What cryptocurrency debit card do you use? Are there any cards that we didn’t mention above that you prefer? Let us know about it in the comments below.
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Images via Shutterstock, Bitpay, Shift, Bitwala, Spectrocoin, Coinsbank, Wirex, and Xapo.
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