Most people reading this probably have a debit card of some sort in their possession. This could be a Wal-Mart Visa debit card. It could be another branded piece of plastic between you and your money. If you are a regular reader of Gravis Ludus then you know that we support Bitcoin here. You probably have a basic understanding of what Bitcoin is. Until now there has not been a combination of Bitcoin and debit cards. At least an affordable option.
Until now, it has not been convenient to obtain a prepaid debit card that is directly connected to your Bitcoin holdings. Now, Bitpay is giving those that support cryptocurrency a chance to have more direct access to it.
Bitpay, by partnering with Visa, has broken down one more wall that Bitcoin had sitting between it and widespread adoption. The Visa partnership allows the Bitpay prepaid debit card to be used at millions of merchant stores and websites. This is rather huge news for Bitcoin supporters and will probably drive more “altcoin” supporters to now support Bitcoin.
The reason this is big news is because merchants already accept debit cards. Not so many understand what Bitcoin is, even fewer accept it in their stores. This new Bitcoin debit card is also capable of being used Automatic Teller Machines if the card hold so chooses.
The breakdown for the Bitpay card is as follows:
- Order a card from the Bitpay website (here). Keep in mind, there is a $9.95 charge via Bitcoin to order the card.
- Your card will arrive in 7 to 10 business days and require you to call to activate it.
- Load your new Bitpay card via any Bitcoin wallet
- Enjoy at merchants online or in person that accept Visa or at ATMs.
You may be reading this thinking that you will not pay $10 for a debit card. Think about this, the only other option now requires a onetime fee of about $100 (the fee is 0.2 to 0.4 of a Bitcoin). You do get this back if you withdraw (you also have to load that money first) $3,500 in any 12 month period. The fee for a Bitpay card is much lower, $9.95.
Correction: Another prepaid Visa/Mastercard option has surfaced. This one is available through XMLGold, a European based company. While they offer a prepaid debit card that can be funded via Bitcoin, there are high minimum deposits (at current exchange about $16 to $17 per deposit) on the card. Also, the XMLGold debit card is only available to “Gold Members” of the site. The Bitpay card has low fees ($9.95 in Bitcoin to order it and no minimums to load Bitcoin onto it afterwards).
If you are interested in getting a Bitpay card head to their website and place your order.