VISA and Coinbase Form Partnership to Release Cryptocurrency Card

A new partnership between the two companies will soon make it possible to make instant fiat purchases with cryptocurrencies using a debit card.

For a long time, the main barrier to mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies has been the unwillingness of retailers to make the changes necessary to use them. Given the risks that massive fluctuations in these markets present to retail businesses, it’s understandable that they’d be reluctant to accept Bitcoin or other staple coins.

A new partnership established between VISA and Coinbase seeks to bypass the adoption requirement for retailers entirely, allowing their customers to make purchases in cryptocurrency that would be instantly converted to fiat through a backend powered by the latter.

The Coinbase card, Computer World reports, will be linked to the holder’s cryptocurrency wallet at the exchange, allowing purchases in Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, and Litecoin. According to VISA, this would allow card holders to “spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank.”

The card would also allow for ATM withdrawals, bypassing the complicated crypto-to-fiat withdrawal process offered by exchanges that many times takes over 24 hours to complete.

“Customers can use their card in millions of locations around the world, making payments through contactless chip and PIN. When customers use their Coinbase Card, we instantly convert crypto to fiat currency,” wrote Coinbase UK CEO Zeeshan Feroze in a Medium post.

Around the same time last year, Revolut launched an offer where it would reward purchases through its Platinum card program with 1% cash back in cryptocurrencies. The company currently allows people to purchase cryptocurrency, but they must convert it back to fiat before using it to make purchases with their cards.

The Coinbase-VISA partnership will allow Coinbase customers the ability to do this without having to make the conversion themselves. Since millennials—a chief target demographic for cryptocurrency companies—view digital coins as savings instruments, such a card might be used for making rainy-day purchases quickly and efficiently.

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