One of the biggest knocks against Bitcoin’s use as a currency has been the relative difficulty of its use. While Bitcoin payment portals exist, they require a separate system apart from normal point of sale systems, credit card readers, etc. That has limited adoption by retailers. On the consumer end of things, payment is normally accomplished through contactless payment via smartphone. That’s all well and good for technophiles, but what about those who don’t want to turn their phone into a payment method? Now there might be another choice.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is launching a cryptocurrency debit card in the UK. That card will link to customers’ cryptocurrency accounts, allowing them to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin as if they were spending pounds, euros, or dollars. Upon swiping the card a portion of the customer’s account balance will be instantly converted into fiat currency, allowing the transaction to go through. That instantly opens up the use of cryptocurrencies for everyday payments.
Whether it’s buying clothes, food, or furniture, consumers who otherwise might not have given cryptocurrencies a second thought now have an incentive to buy, invest in, and use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum. Whereas fiat currencies sitting in an account won’t appreciate in value, cryptocurrencies can. That can mean that cryptocurrency users can make purchases with an asset that continues to appreciate in value, allowing them to continue buying necessities while still growing their cryptocurrency investments.
The only downside to this new debit card is that it is only available in Europe. While that should still boost overall demand for Bitcoin, a similar card in the United States would multiply Bitcoin’s demand even more. It may only be a matter of time before a similar card is introduced here, and when that happens Bitcoin demand will go through the roof, which will make current Bitcoin investors very happy.