Coinbase, one of the most prominent trading platforms for digital currency investors, has officially announced the debut of its own debit card, one that is actually linked to client accounts and cryptocurrency wallets. The Coinbase Card will allow clients in Europe and the United Kingdom to tap into their Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin wallets so they can make payments, purchases and even ATM cash withdrawals.
Unlike previous debit card efforts by various digital currency exchange platforms, the new Coinbase Card does not require users to transfer tokens from their trading accounts to the bank account that supports the debit mechanism. Similar to a PayPal debit card, the account balance is available at all times; however, there is a difference with regard to currency exchange operations.
The Coinbase Card runs on the Visa payment network, which means that transactions must be settled in local fiat; in this particular case, euros and British pound sterling. To accomplish this, the Coinbase Card will convert cryptocurrency into fiat based on the exchange rates of the current session. In other words, cardholders should keep in mind that this is not a digital currency wallet.
As can be expected from a financial services product involving cryptocurrency, the Coinbase Card works with a mobile app that lets users select the tokens to be debited from their accounts; moreover, they can also check their balance and visualize their spending history right from from their smartphones.
The transaction fees associated with Coinbase Card usage range from 2.5 to 5.49 percent based on the country where the transaction takes place. The company is waiving card issuance fees for a limited time. Bitcoin investors responded positively to the news, which can be considered to be a fundamental boost; after all, anything that encourages cryptocurrency holders to spend their tokens is a step closer to circulation. During the second week of April, Bitcoin has been able to hold on to an exchange rate above the $5,000 mark; traders are looking for strong signs of digital currency circulation, which would strengthen liquidity and trigger a rally such as the one experienced in 2017.