Bitcoin is slowly gaining acceptance by more people. Whether is because of the perceived value or the fact that some people like to play on the cutting edge is not known. One thing that I believe has held the cryptocurrency back is the complicated manner in buying or selling it. That problem has mostly been solved thanks to the United States government recognizing Bitcoin as a commodity- much like a share of stock. This has opened up avenues for exchange services to work with banks in buying and selling Bitcoin easily. One last wall that still stood until recently, it is now a pile of cumbersome rubble, was convenience of Bitcoin at merchants like Wal-Mart. This convenience is most prominent in the plastic cards most of us carry in our pockets – debit cards. Here I will go through the current offerings and give my thoughts on why they are good or bad options for everyday use.
Recently I wrote up the news that Bitpay now has an affordable Bitcoin based debit card available. I also mentioned XMLGold and their offering. Both are in this list to help bring more attention to them.
Bitpay– this is one latest in the series of Bitcoin debit cards that I know of and is also the most attractive to me as a Bitcoin user. I like this option the most because of the moves that Bitpay has been making lately. They recently teamed up with Steam to process Bitcoin payments for the popular digital distribution service.
The Bad– Bitpay only allows you to order their debit card via a $9.95 Bitcoin payment. Most of the other cards on this list allow multiple ways of paying for the card. Visa branded cards only.
XMLGold– is from a European based company. They offer a ton of options to pay for the debit card, fund it and withdraw funds from your account with them.
The Bad– paying nearly double that of Bitpay’s fee for a debit card. Then on top of that, at current exchange rates, a minimum of about $18 to $20 per deposit. MasterCard branded cards only.
The Bad– if you want a physical card, get ready to be hit with a 0.15 Bitcoin fee. ATM fees are 1 to 2% or $3 minimum, whichever is greater.
E-coin, soon to be Wirexapp– Similar to Wagecan, E-coin offers both physical and virtual debit cards. There is a flat cost for the card to cover shipping.
The Bad– $17 via Royal Mail, no tracking, and $50 via DHL with tracking. There are fees for everything other than a purchase.
BitInvest– it is an upcoming Bitcoin funded debit card. Apparently will use MasterCard.
The Bad– we know very little about this offering other than they are accepting signups to be the first users to get one.
Know of a Bitcoin debit card not mentioned here? Let me know. Are you planning on using a Bitcoin powered debit card now after reading this article or not?