As more people begin to embrace the advantages of cryptocurrency, the method by which people make purchases around the globe is changing. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining traction as accepted payment methods, and many consumers wonder if a cryptocurrency debit card would be the right fit for them in their daily life. Let’s dive in and take a look at the benefits of cryptocurrency debit cards!
The Changing Times
Recent surveys in the U.S. have shown that most Americans prefer debit cards and other payment methods over cash. A Gallup Poll conducted in 2016 estimated that only 14% of consumers make the majority of their purchases in cash. Other surveys taken within the last few years concluded that the percentage is lower, typically ranging between 10–12%. Whether it is for convenience or other reasons, one thing is certain — debit cards, credit cards and digital payment applications are becoming the predominant means for making payments.
However, to understand the benefits of cryptocurrency debit cards, it is necessary to highlight the distinctions between them and traditional debit cards.
Simplicity: Easy to Use
When using a cryptocurrency debit card it is business as usual. You swipe your card on-site when making purchases or enter your card details online. Many cryptocurrency debit cards allow for both virtual and physical versions of your card. Because of the long confirmation times for some cryptocurrencies, your card issuer will cover the payment and then deduct it from your cryptocurrency balance. This allows for many cryptocurrencies to be used for day-to-day spending. One key distinction is that cryptocurrency debit cards are not tied to your bank account. Instead, they draw money directly from a cryptocurrency wallet that is linked with the card.
A cryptocurrency wallet is an application that allows cryptocurrency users to store and retrieve their digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or ARK.
Many different cryptocurrency card providers allow for multiple assets. Therefore, your wallet can hold multiple cryptocurrencies at any given time. The Spend wallet, for example, can hold 20 different types of cryptocurrency.
Versatility: Pay How You Want
One of the greatest benefits of owning a cryptocurrency debit card is that most of them will allow the user to pay in the currency of their choice. Multiple cryptocurrency debit cards give users the ability to hold currencies such as the U.S. Dolar, the Euro, the Japanese Yen, the Korean Won and more. This is especially useful if you are a frequent traveler and do not want to deal with the hassle of exchanging currency each time you make a trip abroad. Because most of these cards are issued by companies such as Visa and MasterCard, cryptocurrency debit cards can be used worldwide and most cryptocurrency cards convert automatically to the local currency when used.
Cryptocurrency cards are also built to bypass economic instability in different countries. Cryptocurrency can not be manipulated in the manner that traditional currencies can be. Therefore, they retain their value in countries where currency conversion and foreign transaction fees can damage traditional debit card users. For example, Venezuela’s economic system has all but collapsed and much of the population has reverted to using hard currencies such as the U.S. Dollar and the Euro. Many Venezuelans are now using Bitcoin in order to bypass inflation.
In addition, having a cryptocurrency debit card makes it simple when trying to withdraw from an ATM. A majority of cryptocurrency debit cards have 0% withdrawal fees and can be utilized around the globe. Note: Many ATM’s still have their own fees for usage.
At the onset, cryptocurrency debit cards have incredibly low transaction fees and are not plagued by the fees of traditional banking. The Federal Reserve reported that typically, debit card transactions amount to 24 cents per transaction and even higher when the transactions are not covered. Besides transaction fees, traditional debit cardholders are subject to usage fees, service fees, foreign transaction fees when traveling and ATM fees just to name a few. This isn’t to say that cryptocurrency debit cards are fee-less, you should still do your own research when determining what cryptocurrency debit card is right for you.
Convenience: Modern Solutions Without Delay
From a personal perspective, I have been carrying a cryptocurrency debit card for about 6 months now. I am very happy with my current card and the flexibility it affords me. In terms of security, my cryptocurrency wallet that is tied to the card has a biometric scanner, two-factor authentication, and a passcode. If I happen to lose my card, which has happened once, I can immediately lock the card directly from the app. In addition, if I wish to change my pin or report a card lost I can do it directly from the app as well in seconds.
As a person that enjoys doing things quickly and as efficiently as possible, I feel that this card meets my needs and fits my lifestyle. In addition, the cryptocurrency wallet application also allows me to receive, send and buy cryptocurrency directly from the wallet which adds another layer of convenience to my experience.
While many of my friends had been ordering their cryptocurrency cards and using them before me, I did a lot of research prior to ordering my own. The benefits of having this card over traditional debit cards become more apparent the more that I use it. In addition, cryptocurrency debit cards are a great use case for cryptocurrency as a whole and I expect this to become the norm as time goes on. It might be time to cut your bank out of the equation.
There are multiple cryptocurrency debit cards available, this article highlights the Spend.com Visa Card. But there are others available as well such as Crypto.com Visa Card, Swipe.io Visa Card and more. We recommend doing your own research and choosing one that fits your need and geographical region. Each of the issuers listed above support ARK and most major cryptocurrencies, but many card issuers have there own selected list of supported cryptocurrencies, research your card of choice to learn more and see if your crypto of choice is supported.