Cryptocurrencies came into existence with the aim of changing the world for better – to help us earn our financial freedom.
But practically speaking, they have not achieved their original aim because of the liquidity issue.
Wondering what liquidity is? I will explain.
Liquidity simply means how quickly and easily you can convert your cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin) into fiat or other goods and services. So far, cryptocurrencies are only being traded online, and the volume of online shopping is still negligible.
And then there’s the fact that everyone is not that tech-savvy around using various kinds of Bitcoin wallets.
We also have to accept the fact that BTC is not like hard cash where you can simply walk into a store and buy something as you would do with a traditional cash system.
This clearly shows that there needs to be traction in liquidity of bitcoins.
And this is a big challenge for digital currencies.
To solve this problem, many Bitcoin debit cards companies are mushrooming up in the cryptocurrency space. These Bitcoin debit cards allow consumers to walk into any store to purchase goods and services for their daily needs.
What Are Bitcoin Debit Cards Or Crypto Debit Cards?
Bitcoin debit cards are prepaid debit cards which allow you to top-up your card with BTC, which is then converted into fiat (USD, EUR, GBP, etc.) so that you can make a purchase.
Some Bitcoin debit cards hold your Bitcoin top-up in BTC and convert it into fiat only at the time of a transaction. Some other cards convert it into equivalent fiat as soon as you top it up.
While others are simply linked to your fiat accounts where you can move to and fro between crypto or fiat as much as you like.
Regardless of how it works, your Bitcoin debit card can be used for everyday purchases and payments, as they are linked to VISA and/or MasterCard, which are prominent payment processors used around the globe.
What does a Bitcoin debit card look like?
Bitcoin debit cards look like any other debit card.
They come with the following information printed on them:
- Cardholder’s name
- Card number
- Expiry date
- CVV/CVC number (card verification value)
- Issuer company name
- Processor name – VISA or MasterCard
Types of Bitcoin Debit Cards
Typically, all Bitcoin debit card service providers issue two types of debit cards:
- Virtual Debit Cards
- Plastic Debit Cards
Each of these debit cards has its own use and purpose for different kinds of users.
Some of the key differences are:
|Plastic Card||Virtual Card|
|Make online and offline payments anywhere VISA/MasterCard have accepted||Make online payments anywhere VISA/MasterCard is accepted|
|Can withdraw cash from any ATMs around the world||Cannot withdraw cash from any ATMs|
|People who travel/study/live abroad||People who don’t travel and don’t want a physical thing to be carried.|
Each debit card provider has its range of services and charges.
At present, there are more than 5 popular Bitcoin debit card providers worldwide who serve in different countries. In an upcoming article, I am going to cover the best Bitcoin debit cards available to you.
Why have a Bitcoin debit card?
It is natural to think that when we all already have debit cards, why should we have one more Bitcoin debit card?
Bitcoins are accepted directly by a handful of merchants across the globe. But VISA/MasterCard are accepted by all merchants around the world.
That’s why holding a VISA/MasterCard linked-bitcoin debit card makes a difference.
You can use your Bitcoin debit card not only in your country but in any country anywhere. If you are a regular traveler or are studying abroad, it would be very handy for you to convert your BTCs into the required fiat currency without looking out for forex exchanges.
You may say that your normal debit card also works abroad, but there are certain notable advantages of a Bitcoin debit card.
Benefits of Crypto/Bitcoin debit cards:
- Allow you to make day to day payments for hotels, shopping purchases, gasoline, etc.
- Can be carried virtually/physically.
- Allow you to travel abroad without worrying.
- Allow for instant money transfers to anyone in the world.
- Allow you to hold more than one fiat currency at a time like (USD, EUR, GBP).
- Allow you to withdraw fiat currencies like (USD, EUR, GBP) from ATMs.
How to use a Bitcoin debit card:
As I told you before, there are two types of Bitcoin debit cards (plastic debit cards and virtual debit cards).
Plastic Debit Card – a normal debit card. It comes with a chip and a PIN number with which you can swipe in a store or withdraw cash from ATMs. You can even enter the relevant information online for making an online purchase.
Virtual Debit Card – cannot be used offline. It doesn’t have a chip which you can swipe anywhere. However, it can be used for all types of online purchase by entering relevant information like the CVV number, card number, expiry date, etc.
Popular Bitcoin Debit Cards
Here is the exclusive list of some of the most popular Bitcoin debit cards:
- Wirex Bitcoin Debit Card (Unique Approach…)
- Cryptopay Bitcoin Debit Card
- MCO Crypto Debit Card
- Uquid Bitcoin Debit Card
- Xapo Bitcoin Debit Card
While there is a long, long way to go for Bitcoin debit cards, the overall ecosystem will keep on improving as more and more cryptocurrencies are joining the race.
In the future, we will witness cheaper fees and easier usability in this space as the competition gets larger every day.
Also, it’s not an exaggeration in saying that with the advent of such debit cards, virtual currencies like bitcoins are finding meaning for everyday users in their everyday lives.
Stay tuned to the Bitcoin revolution at CoinSutra as I am going to publish an exclusive list of the best Bitcoin debit cards shortly.
So that’s all from my side for today.
Now let me hear from you: Are you using a Bitcoin debit card? Which one are you using and why? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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