Coinbase launches cryptocurrency Visa card

Written by Hannah McGrath

Cryptocurrency platform Coinbase has launched a Visa debit card allowing users to use cryptoassets such as Bitcoin to make real-world purchases.

The card uses a customer’s cryptocurrency balance in Bitcoin, Ethereum, lite coin or other virtual currencies and converts it into pounds to pay in-store and online.

The card is controlled through the CoinBase app, and marks the first move from a cruptocurrency exchange into a debit card solution linked to an account balance. Previously, cryptocurrency cards have been issued on a pre-paid basis.

The card is launching to UK customers for purchases in the UK and Europe, with a card due to become available for European customers in the coming months.

The card will be used to make payments through contactless, Chip and PIN, as well as cash withdrawals from ATMs.

When customers use their Coinbase card, the company instantly converts crypto into fiat currency.

The card will be available for a £4.95 issuance fee, with the fee waivered for the first 1,000 people to join the waiting list.

The card has a spending limit of £10,000 a day, with cash withdrawals of up to £500 per day. The fee is 2.49 per cent, made up of a 1.49 per cent crypto conversion fee and a one per cent transaction fee.

Hugh Kingdon, head of fintech at Visa, said: “It’s an exciting time in the global payments industry as innovators inject new ideas and technologies to enable seamless commerce for everyone, everywhere.

“We value the opportunity to collaborate with FinTech partners such as Paysafe and Coinbase to develop cutting-edge payments solutions for businesses and consumers.”