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In total, around $ 600 billion has been invested in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. But the crypto scene still has a problem: few shops accept Bitcoin and Co.
The remedy for this problem promise so-called Bitcoin debit cards or crypto cards that can spend cryptocurrencies. The special thing about ordinary debit cards: You pay for bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies that are in the user’s digital wallet.
In return, the trader will receive Euro, US $ or British Pounds (depending on the supported currency), with the amount being converted in the last second. So for the merchant, it does not matter if the user is paying with Bitcoin, Ether, or another digital currency. An overview of the most important Bitcoin debit cards on the market:
The Wirex debit card (formerly E-Coin) is available both as a plastic card (MasterCard) with PIN and chip and as a virtual card (Visa) with an associated mobile app for iOS and Android. It supports various currencies, such as the euro, the US $ and the British pound, which can be used to charge the card. Currently, only one cryptocurrency is supported: the Bitcoin.
Cryptopay was one of the first Bitcoin debit cards on the market. Founded in 2013, Cryptopay today handles more than 100,000 transactions per day. It supports multiple deposit currencies such as US $, British Pounds and Euros. However, as in the case of the Wirex debit card, transaction fees are incurred, and on the crypto side, only Bitcoin is supported.
Xapo promises a high level of security with its Bitcoin debit card. In addition, the deposit supports several currencies (US $, Euro, British Pounds). In the first year, the card is free, from the second year an annual fee of 10 € or 12 US $ applies. In addition, there are charge fees for users who want to exchange classic paper money currencies against Bitcoin. On the crypto side, only Bitcoin is currently supported.
The crypto debit card from Uquid supports Bitcoin and deposits in different currencies (US $, Euro, British Pounds). In the future, Uquid wants to support 40 additional Altcoins (Alternative Coins to Bitcoin) in addition to the Bitcoin – but so far it remained with promises.
The Bitwala Visa Debit Card supports more than 20 different foreign currencies that allow users to top up their debit card. In addition to Bitcoin Bitwala wants to support other cryptocurrencies in the future. In addition to a monthly fee, transaction costs amounting to 0.5 to 1.0% of the transaction amount.
Monaco has raised more than US $ 26 million through an Initial Public Offering (ICO) in June 2017 to fund its ambitious card project. The Monaco Visa debit card should allow the user to buy Bitcoins, ethers, and their own cryptocurrency MCO directly in the app and spend.
Monaco promises on certain crypto cards up to 2% cash back (money back) on the purchase with the debit card. Furthermore, there are no monthly fees or any annual fees. Prerequisite for acquiring special debit card variants (Obsidian Black etc.) is a certain number of cryptocurrency Monaco (MCO) that the user must own.
Singaporean-based TenX has raised more than $ 80 million through a token sale this year, with plans to implement its ambitious Tenis Visa debit card and loyalty program. This means that in the near future not only Bitcoin but also Ethereum, Dash, and all ERC20 tokens will be supported on the debit card.
Even with TenX, there are no monthly fees or transaction fees. For users spending more than $ 1,000 a year via the debit card, the annual fee will be waived. TenX also wants to implement a loyalty program. In addition, TenX intends to use the funds raised by the ICO to implement its own protocol, which will eventually solve any scaling problems.
|Monaco and TenX are the most ambitious projects in the crypto card segment, with the benefits currently on the side of TenX, the start-up from Singapore wants to do much more than just offer a debit card.|
Investors also have a lot to gain in this regard. Both Monaco and TenX are listed with their own tokens on various crypto exchanges. Both tokens (MCO, PAY) have performed well so far – ICO investors can look forward to triple-digit price gains.
On January 5, 2018, the majority of the crypto cards were deactivated because the debit card publisher WaveCrest no longer received a license from the credit card company Visa. In total, this affects more than 500,000 customers worldwide, as the majority of crypto card providers have worked with WaveCrest. The affected crypto card issuers are trying to solve the problem in the coming months by switching to a new provider. According to Visa, this measure is not directed against cryptocurrencies per se. In a statement, the US credit card issuer refers to other visa programs that exchange money (euro, US dollars) for cryptocurrencies.