The Coinbase Card, as it will be known, was announced by Zeeshan Feroz on Wednesday the 1th of April. The CEO of the UK branch of Coinbase took to the company's blog to make the big announcement and explain what more they had in plan for their customers in the UK.
Feroz stated that the key to the card would be variety. VISA allows payment at millions of vendors worldwide, including all major online retailers. Combined with Coinbase's wide acceptance of coins and tokens on its exchange platform, will allow prospective UK users of the ultimate card flexibility.
The card will work with contactless payments systems, via PIN and it will have the ability to withdraw cash at ATMs. Launching alongside the card is the Coinbase Card app, which will allow the user to quickly and easily choose which wallet to pull funds from. If Bitcoin has appreciated and you want to treat yourself, no need to spend those Ethereum coins you're hodling. Just log in to the app and set Bitcoin as your currency of choice. The app will support all cryptocurrencies from the get-go, and Coinbase has a lot of cryptocurrencies that it has added to its exchange platform. When a user makes a payment, Coinbase will automatically convert cryptocurrency from whatever wallet you have chosen to fiat currency and pay with that.
The user having lots of choices seems to be the key to their long term strategy and many industry insiders feel that this type of card based crypto-to-fiat conversion will give Coinbase an edge in an industry that is quickly becoming overcrowded.
Some special mentions regarding the card also need to be addressed. Coinbase is going to waive the 4.95 pound Sterling fee that is normally paid for issuance of a card for the first 1000 people who order it.
The process to get a card is simple. Once a Coinbase user downloads the app onto their iOS or Android device, they connect their Coinbase account to the Coinbase Card app. Once that verification is complete, users are able to use a virtual card online immediately while the physical card is sent through the mail.
While the card is only available in the UK at this time, Coinbase doe shave plans to roll it out to the other key European countries. They plan this roll out to happen in the next few months, and industry insiders say that this will give Coinbase a leg up in the field of crypto-payments. Others feel differently, as it is not a native payment solution. Many have, in the past, decried crypto debit/credit cards are half measures. If it is not paid in cryptocurrency to the vendor, then it does not count as a crypto purchase.
Opponents of this view say that starting off with debit and credit cards will help ease average consumers into cryptocurrencies as a payment solution. When there is a critical mass regarding adoption of cryptocurrency, then it will be easier for companies like Coinbase to offer native crypto payments for a much smaller fee.
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