One of the biggest names in the world of cryptos, Coinbase, has decided to team up with VISA in order to provide the general public with opportunities to spend cryptocurrencies in the real world. Coinbase and VISA are launching a “Coinbase Card” which will allow users to spend cryptos like traditional fiat money.
UK Customers Claimed First 1,000 Cards
The first 1,000 free Coinbase Cards have already been claimed by the UK customers, Coinbase announced yesterday;
The first 1,000 free Coinbase Cards have now been claimed by UK customers. If you still want your card today, join the waitlist and be among the first to receive their Contactless Visa debit Coinbase Card. https://t.co/1mk6wMeQoy pic.twitter.com/DJrhOs7V6o
— Coinbase (@coinbase) April 11, 2019
Bitcoin and other cryptos are largely used by people as a store of value as price fluctuations linked to them are too high to be used for normal payments. Opportunities to spend cryptos in the real world are also scarce, another hindrance in cryptos’ status of actually turning into usable currencies. But this partnership between Coinbase and VISA will change the dynamics of the crypto world altogether as it will lead to more widespread adoption of cryptos.
How Coinbase Card Works
The card can be issued after paying a nominal fee of $6.50 and can be used to spend Coinbase bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and XRP. Coinbase users can choose the crypto that they want to use with their card through a mobile app. The app supports all the crypto assets available on Coinbase. While using the card, the crypto is first converted into fiat and is then transferred to the merchant in the form of traditional fiat currency.
Previously, such services involved pre-loading a specific amount of cryptos onto the card before usage. With Coinbase Card, payments are done directly through the customer’s account. The service is available in “millions of locations around the world”. Coinbase said in a statement
This is the first debit card to link directly with a major cryptocurrency exchange in the UK and EU, allowing users to spend their crypto balances direct from their Coinbase account.
VISA is one of the leaders in the finance industry worldwide and its partnership with Coinbase to make crypto payments easier will surely help in bringing cryptos to mainstream through mass adoption.
Acceptance of cryptos as a payment method just one of the many steps needed to go totally digital. Online marketplaces are one of the best examples where the transfer of money takes place digitally, not physically. Cryptos, unlike fiat money, are digital currencies that are decentralized and are not controlled by central or state banks. They establish a peer-to- peer worldwide network of operations and stand against the modern banking system. Their adoption has been relatively slow since their inception in 2008 but steps such as Coinbase Card will make them more mainstream.
Coinbase is a U.S.-based digital currency exchange that allows users to trade their fiat money to cryptos. The exchange has presence in over 42 countries, serving more than 20 million customers. Coinbase is a big brand in the crypto world and its partnership with VISA can help develop a positive image of cryptos. This has largely been marred due to the usage of cryptos in fraudulent and illegal activities.
Price fluctuation has largely been the cause stopping cryptos from getting used in the real world. Bitcoin’s price may shoot up a day but it may also fall flat the very next day It is also called “digital gold” by some of its proponents, making it more like an investment tool instead of a payment method or a currency.
Cryptos are still pretty nascent. Though bitcoin’s status at present is not well-defined, it is expected to be made clear in the near future. Will it be a currency meant for daily use or will it be the digital gold as some have claimed it to be? Only time will tell; however, there are people who believe it has the potential to become both..
Previously, while talking to BlockPublisher regarding bitcoin’s potential to become a global digital currency, the founder of Korporatio, Stefano Covolon, said:
We are not there, yet. And till the law around BTC will be so different, i.e. In China you cannot buy and hold BTC, it will be quite difficult to have it totally global. But, step by step, we will [be] seeing more and more countries agreeing on BTC as a real currency and starting using that in the same way the Euro is used in EU.