What are Bitcoin debit cards?
A Bitcoin debit card is quite simply a payment card that allows you to use your cryptocurrency tokens as if they were fiat money. It is a brilliant way to get around the fact that there are still only a very few places accept Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency) as legal tender. The cards are accepted in any store or ATM that accepts Visa cards.
The companies that issue these Bitcoin Visa debit cards effectively double as cryptocurrency exchanges, and allow carriers to quickly and easily exchange Bitcoin for Ethereum or fiat money. Some of the card companies require users to exchange cryptocurrency fiat money before they can use it. They are, in other words, used more as prepaid debit cards than real debit cards.
There are, however, also cards available that convert the cryptocurrency tokens to fiat money instantly when a transaction is made in a store or ATM. As with any other new technology, there are certain risks involved with Bitcoin debit cards, but these are largely negligible compared to the advantages.
Advantages of Bitcoin debit cards
The most obvious advantage of the Bitcoin debit cards is that you have access to all the goods and services that any other Visa card holder has. You no longer have to fiddle with cryptocurrency exchanges and wait forever to be able to access your money. The advantage for the merchants and banks are that they don’t have to risk accepting cryptocurrency if they are not comfortable with it.
Disadvantages of Bitcoin debit cards
The main disadvantage of Bitcoin debit cards is that it removes the decentralization that is so much desired by cryptocurrency enthusiasts. The money has to be stored in a bank account in order for you to access them. That means your cryptocurrency tokens will essentially be controlled by a third party. You don’t have any control over their security, so we recommend you don’t keep all your money on your Bitcoin debit card.
Inactive Bitcoin debit cards
The majority of Bitcoin debit card companies have an agreement with Visa in order to use their network. WaveCrest was up until now the middleman between these companies and Visa. In January of this year, however, Visa suspended their partnership with WaveCrest. That led to several card companies no longer being able to serve their customers. Some of these companies were:
All of them are working relentlessly on an alternative solution, but are only able to offer wallet and exchange services until further notice.
Which Bitcoin debit card should you choose?
Approach the Bitcoin debit card as you would any other product or service. Read reviews by customers and blogs in order to get a broad understanding of how well they work. Ensure that whichever company you choose to go with meets the following criteria:
- Reputable company and not a scam
- Reasonable fees
- Verifies customers
- Covers your country
Let us know which Bitcoin debit cards you prefer to use in the comments section below!