Coinbase exchange have announced the launch of a VISA debit card for customers – initially for those in the United Kingdom and later in the year for clients in other European countries – that will enable them to spend their cryptocurrency at any store, ATM or online portal where VISA is accepted.
— Forbes (@Forbes) April 11, 2019
The Coinbase Card will support all digital assets that are available on the exchange and the card holder will have the choice of which ones to use to fund their card spending through a downloadable mobile phone app suitable for both Android and iOS.
Spend Crypto Effortlessly
To enable the initiative, Coinbase partnered with Paysafe Financial Services Limited who are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to issue electronic money and payment instruments under the Electronic Money regulations 2011 (FRN: 900015).
Unlike some other debit cards, the Coinbase debit card requires no pre-loading of funds and according to Zeeshan Feroz, the head of Coinbase in the UK, the new card “…lets customers in the UK spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank” because when the card is used “…we instantly convert crypto to fiat currency, such as GBP, which is used to complete the purchase.”
Speaking to the Financial Times, Feroz explained “We want to launch in the UK first, just to get a sense of the reaction, to get the product right, and then move into more markets.” However, there is currently no timeline as to when the card will be available in any other country outside of Europe.
The Financial Times reported last year that Coinbase, who are estimated to be worth in the region of $8 Billion, were establishing contingency plans to the possible outcomes of Brexit but their London office would continue to serve as the company’s European headquarters.
The new card comes with an issuance fee of £4.95 but Coinbase will waive this for the first 1000 people who sign up.