Using Bitcoin in the real world is not as easy as we would like. Granted, there are several ways to circumvent that issue, as several cities around the world have multiple merchants accepting Bitcoin payments in-store. And there is an easier solution to spending Bitcoin as well, by using a BTC-funded Debit Card. Popular Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp is now issuing their own Bitcoin Debit Card, so, let’s see what they have to offer.
Bitcoin Debit Cards – Spend BTC Wherever Credit Cards Are Accepted
While there are many merchants already accepting Bitcoin payments – both online and offline – it is still difficult to use Bitcoin for most everyday purchases. For example, if you want to go out for grocery shopping, you can use services such as Gyft or Crypto De Change in select countries. However, there is no clear cut solution for everyone.
About a year ago, the first Bitcoin Debit Cards started hitting the market. As you would come to expect from such a card, it can be pre-loaded with Bitcoin, and spent wherever credit cards are accepted. In the Western world, those places are not that hard to come by, but it might depend a bit on your region.
While Bitcoin Debit Cards are a very useful and convenient way to spend Bitcoin for everyday purchases, there is always a fee to take into consideration. As these debit cards are issued by existing banks, there are some rules and costs the user has to adhere to. The card itself, for example, will usually cost between US$10 and US$50, depending on who you order such a card from.
On top of that, there can be certain fees when loading your balance in Bitcoin – these companies also have to make money somehow – which is either a percentage of the amount or a fixed fee. But if you are willing to take all of those things into consideration to use Bitcoin for everyday purchases, the sky’s the limit.
Bitstamp To Issue Bitcoin Debit Cards
More and more Bitcoin exchange platforms are starting to offer debit cards to their customers. You can look at this as a customer loyalty program, as these branded cards will help raise awareness about the Bitcoin ecosystem in a way. And for the merchant, nothing changes, as they still receive funds in fiat currency through existing infrastructure.
What makes the Bitstamp Bitcoin Debit Card interesting is the fact it can be denominated in different fiat currencies, such as EUR, GBP or USD. The latter one, in particular, is interesting considering that this card is not available to US customers at this time. This is an issue most Bitcoin debit card providers run into, due to regulatory reasons.
Every Bitcoin Debit Card will have certain limits, depending on your verification level. Bitstamp’s verification procedure comes in three stages, ranging from no KYC-compliant verification (up to 2,500 EUR in transactions annually) to providing an ID scan, proof of residency and proof of funds (up to 125,000 EUR annually).
If you are interested in ordering a Bitstamp Bitcoin Debit Card, you can get one right now. Bitstamp offers a digital debit card (free of charge) and a physical Bitcoin Debit Card (US$10), which will be available in roughly two weeks after placing your order. Once your card is available – in either virtual or physical form – users can transfer BTC from their Bitstamp account to the card.
Do keep in mind there is a flat US$10 transaction fee for transferring funds valued at US$1,000 or less, and a 2% fee for amounts above US$1,000.
Images courtesy of BitStamp