Actors in the cryptocurrency space are moving relentlessly to accelerate mainstream adoption of digital assets. After launching in the United Kingdom in April, Coinbase recently launched Coinbase Card for citizens of six additional European countries: Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, & the Netherlands. Through its partnership with Paysafe, the UK-based online payments company, Coinbase enables end users to purchase goods with their BTC, ETH, or LTC balances at any merchant that accepts Visa. To promote the launch of Coinbase Card, cards were offered for free to the first 1,000 initial sign-ups.
“You can buy groceries on Bitcoin and then coffee on Litecoin right after” -Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase U.K.
Users will be able to use Coinbase Card after downloading a mobile app for iOS or Android. A physical card syncs directly with Coinbase accounts and acts as a physical contactless card that can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs. Users can also decide which cryptocurrency they’d like to use to make a payment through the mobile app. To convert users’ cryptocurrency into fiat money for purchases, Coinbase charges users fees.
Currently valued at $8 billion USD, according to CB Insights, Coinbase is actively looking to expand into other key markets, including the United States. Feroz said that Coinbase is vetting through banking partners who’ll be able to deploy Coinbase Card in the United States. Coinbase Vice President of Business Emilie Choi emphasized the importance of regulatory compliance and consumer security, which might explain why Coinbase is aligning itself with the traditional financial institution ecosystem.
Though Binance, arguably Coinbase’s largest rival, launched a similar product in January by partnering with Simplex, Binance’s strategic focus is aimed at advancing the developer community. Binance Launchpad and Binance Labs are direct efforts to promote research and development for a variety of platform protocols. Coinbase, however, is targeting the mainstream consumer demographic. With Coinbase Card, regular consumers will be able to purchase goods and services in similar fashion to a debit or credit card.
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