The San Francisco-based Coinbase has just become the first crypto exchange to be made a principal member of Visa. This is an extremely big deal for a cryptocurrency based financial institution.
The news was released on the Coinbase blog today. It’s mentioned in the post that Coinbase is the first ‘pure crypto company' to get approval from the credit card behemoth. Ever since it launched the Coinbase Card in 2019, the exchange has been working closely with Visa in the UK to give its users easier ways to use digital assets.
Coinbase Debit Card Allows Cryptocurrency to be Spent Directly
The Coinbase debit card enables its users to spend cryptocurrency, just like cash, at any place that accepts Visa. It supports 10 cryptocurrencies and has been made available for 29 markets from all over the world (not in the US).
Those currencies include:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Augur (REP)
- 0x (ZRX)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Visa principal members are financial institutions that have gained the trust and authorization to issue payments cards, process payments, and open themselves up to new markets. Theoretically, Coinbase could issue debit cards to any crypto company, but it’s not clear if this feature will be possible immediately to the exchange. The exchange hasn't revealed how they will be using their new access and what features they will open up to their current customers.
Coinbase Card Customers to Be Offered More Features
Talking about the Visa approval, Coinbase mentioned that:
“Membership will enable us to offer more features for Coinbase Card customers; from additional services to support in more markets — all elements that will help to evolve and enrich the cryptocurrency payment experience.”
While the approval has just been announced today, Forbes revealed that Coinbase was accepted as a principle member back in December.
Some Fees Are in Order
Just like the exchange itself, the card will charges fees for use. The fees could be higher if you withdrawal a large sum of money or are spending your digital assets in another country.
Half of the users who have a Coinbase card, are actively using it. The main markets for this card are the UK, Spain, Italy, and France.
While cryptocurrencies haven’t yet replaced Visa and Mastercard, the traditional debit cards seem to be the best alternative at the moment to increase adoption.