The problem with mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is that they often require some technical knowledge. Modern exchanges like Coinbase and the growing number of Bitcoin ATMs make the process of buying and selling of these digital assets much easier, but we are still far from the day when using cryptocurrencies will be as easy and straightforward as using regular, fiat currencies.
Debit cards could help a ton, effectively serving as a bridge between the user’s cryptocurrency wallet(s) and everyday payments. And unsurprisingly they are getting more popular with the day…
Easily pay with your digital currency
A crypto debit card allows users to easily spend their virtual money in a physical world. Or online.
Such card works as a regular credit card, with all the conversion between virtual coins in your wallet and regular, fiat currency taking place at the time of transaction. Some fee is involved and you may not get the best rate, but you get a lot of convenience in return; and that could come extremely handy when visiting foreign countries. Or when you quickly need cash.
“Crypto Debit card adoption can play a significant role in bridging the gap between the crypto and fiat worlds,” according to David Mondrus, CEO of Trive, a blockchain-based startup that incentivizes people to do primary research on news stories and compensates them with Trive coin. He went on to add: “A crypto debit card allows users to use their crypto wallets in a retail setting easily and with low friction. I’ve travelled extensively in the US and abroad using my crypto debit card. It’s been a real life saver at times.”
Crypto cards could help people in emerging economies
Unsurprisingly, many experts from the industry agree that crypto cards will help the entire [cryptocurrency] market grow. As we’ve noted before, making virtual assets more tangible makes for a huge difference. This is especially true in countries where people have lower incomes, and where they invest in cryptocurrencies to protect their assets.
“Considering this Cashaa is launching its cards based solution in India to facilitate the use of cryptocurrencies in a fully regulated way,” Kumar Gaurav, Chairman of Auxesis Group, told Cointelegraph. “This will support the initiative of the Prime minister Narendra Modi’s vision. Auxesis group is supporting this initiative which runs the Auxldger with State government of India with 53 Million users on it.”
Gaurav added that Cashaa is looking beyond the “banked population” to also include 167 million people who are unbanked in India as having debit cards linked with the Mastercard, Visa or Rupay network will bring more participants into the crypto economy. This will accelerate the growth of digital currency significantly once the network goes live in the country.
Another use case for crypto debit cards is that they could serve as a buffer against deteriorating local currencies, which is something we have seen happening in Venezuela. Due to rising inflation, many stores and professionals in the Latin American country will gladly take popular cryptocurrencies over the local (fiat) currency.
Celebrity support is there
We have heard of at least one celebrity supporting crypto debit cards, the world boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, who has partnered with Centra Card to spend his cryptocurrency in mainstream commerce. Said service supports a range of cryptocurrencies, including (obviously) Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, ERC20 Tokens, Ripple, Zcash, and Dash.
Mayweather has been known as a cryptocurrency supporter for some time now, the fact that may push some other people toward this market. Perhaps he manages to get more people to use digital tokens for remittances in which case a crypto debit card would be used to get cash out of a regular ATM.
Anyhow, we like when celebrities are fighting the same battle as we do — to get more people on the cryptocurrency bandwagon and eventually change the world for the better.
In addition to the Centra Card, there are other crypto debit cards on the market, including the Bitpay Visa debit card, Xapo debit card, Cryptopay debit card and Coinbase/Shift card.
Chances are this is just a start and that soon enough we’ll have a small flood of crypto debit cards being offered from a number of both new and old companies. As more people realize the unique benefits of cryptocurrencies, more of them will also like an easy way to spend their coins. And that’s where the opportunity lies for the crypto debit card issuers…