Major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has launched its crypto-enabled debit card in the United States.
According to an Oct. 28 announcement, On Oct 28, Coinbase announced the debut of its Visa debit card, allowing the firm’s customers to spend cryptocurrencies in online and physical stores, as well as for ATM withdrawals. Furthermore, the San Francisco-based crypto exchange also promises that the users of the card can earn back 4% of what they spend in Stellar (XLM) or 1% in Bitcoin (BTC).
As Modern Consensus reported in February, Coinbase obtained authorization from Visa to issue Visa cards directly to customers on its own. This grants the firm a significant advantage since it cuts out banking middlemen and reduces costs. The company also claimed at the time to be the “first pure-play cryptocurrency company” to do it.
Coinbase’s Visa card is now available in nearly 29 countries, including the United Kingdom, France and Italy. The first U.S. customer applications for the cards will be approved this winter, and then they will be able to spend crypto online with their virtual card right away while waiting to receive their physical card within two weeks.
Coinbase highlights that the card is just one of the services that the firm offers besides its crypto exchange platform, as the company believes that it has “become a trusted brand in crypto financial services.” The exchange also runs a cryptocurrency learning platform Earn, a staking service and USD Coin rewards, and is not shy of admitting that it is all part of an aggressive expansion strategy:
“We aim to reach users across many age groups, demographics, and geographies.”
Coinbase found itself in the middle of major controversy at the end of September, after publishing a blog post in which its CEO Brian Armstrong clearly stated that the firm does not intend to take a position on the Black Lives Matter movement, as it would be a waste of resources.
The controversy was renewed when Armstrong—after championing the apolitical conduct that it requires from its staff—retweeted a post about voting for Kanye West just a couple of days ago.