What Are Bitcoin Debit Cards? | Beginner’s Guide
The accelerated rate of Bitcoin adoption has been seeing since 2017 when its value spiked to never heard of heights has led to a great number of developments in the cryptosphere and beyond.
Bitcoin debit cards represent one of the latest trends within the crypto sector. In this article, we are going to explain what Bitcoin debit cards are, what types of cards are there, what are their pros and cons, and we’ll also provide a series of examples.
What are Bitcoin debit cards?
To put it as simple as possible, Bitcoin debit cards work exactly like any other other debit cards at a given POS or ATM. However, instead of drawing funds from a bank account, Bitcoin debit cards draw funds directly from cryptocurrency wallets.
They allow crypto investors to circumvent the typical steps required for converting BTC into fiat currencies, thus streamlining the process of spending Bitcoin. There is one more big difference between Bitcoin debit card and their mainstream counterparts, namely the fact that holders are required to preload Bitcoin or altcoins in advance. In doing so, it can be argued that Bitcoin debit cards actually help bridge the massive gap between Bitcoin (or other cryptos) and the world of fiat currencies.
To conclude, Bitcoin debit cards are prepaid debit cards which allow users to top-up cards with BTC, which is then automatically converted into fiat (either USD, EUR, or GBP) so you can make instant and easy purchases.
Types of Bitcoin Debit Cards
Bitcoin debit cards look just like any other debit card out there. They contain information such as the cardholder’s name, card number, export date, CVV/CVC number, issuer company name, and the processor name (usually Visa or MasterCard).
Be that as it may, there are two types of Bitcoin debit cards. These are virtual Bitcoin debit cards, and plastic (physical) Bitcoin debit cards. They are used for different purposes. For example, plastic cards can help users withdraw cash from any ATM around the world, while their virtual counterparts can’t. Virtual cards are, therefore, better suited to users who don’t travel. In short, virtual debit cards are used to make online payments anywhere Visa or MasterCard are accepted. Plastic cards are not only used for online payments, but they also support offline payments as well.
Pros and cons of a Bitcoin Debit Card
Without a doubt, the biggest advantage of Bitcoin debit cards is the fact that they allow their users to use Bitcoin to perform payments anywhere in the world where credit and debit cards are accepted. The payment will be deducted from the user’s Bitcoin wallet (balance), while the merchant automatically gets paid in his own currency.
Bitcoin debit cards can also enable instant money transfer, allow users to hold more than one fiat currency at a time, to withdraw fiat currencies like GBP, EUR, and USD.
Not only do these types of debit cards help Bitcoin reach a higher level of adoption, but they also provide a lot more freedom for users who simply want to live off Bitcoin, and not have to deal with ordinary, traditional currencies.
Users have to deposit money into their accounts at the debit card company in order to use the card. These are certain minuscule security issues involved, but centralization is the biggest drawback of a Bitcoin debit card. Furthermore, Bitcoin debit cards usually charge a set of fees that can’t be overlooked, especially by small time investors.
Examples of Bitcoin Debit Cards
Even though Bitcoin debit cards are a relatively new concept, there are various good options currently on the market. These include Cryptopay, Uquid, SpectroCoin, Bitwala, Coinbase/Shift Card, Xapo, BitPay, MCO, and Wirex.
As the overall crypto ecosystem will inevitably improve, so will Bitcoin debit cards. As competition will probably get large every day, there’s a good chance we will be seeing better prices and better services for Bitcoin debit cards.