One of the major drawbacks regarding most Bitcoin debit cards is how they are unavailable to US customers. The reason for this is due to impending independent regulations in every state, combined with federal regulations and guidelines. However, this is not keeping various global companies from shipping these cards to customers all over the world.
Xapo – Bitcoin Debit Card with Lots of Promise
Bitcoin debit cards are far from a perfect solution to push Bitcoin adoption and awareness to new levels. That being said, these cards do allow Bitcoin enthusiasts to spend virtual currency at millions of worldwide locations, as long as the merchant has a payment terminal to process credit and debit cards. For online payments, these Bitcoin debit cards will work with popular services such as Paypal and Apple Pay.
For the merchant, there is no clear indication that the payment is being completed with Bitcoin, as they process a debit card transaction as they normally would. But for the consumer, there is a sheer difference in using this particular debit card, as they know it has been funded with Bitcoin.
It goes without saying that Bitcoin debit cards are proving to be quite popular, especially in unbanked and underbanked countries around the world. But now the Western world is warming up to the idea of Bitcoin debit cards as well, which is why most companies are looking to gain a foothold in the overseas markets.
Xapo is one of those companies, who have announced their Bitcoin debit card quite some time. Just a few days ago, the company (finally) started shipping out cards to its international customer base and things seemed to be on the right track. Although, it didn’t take long until one major weakness was discovered as far as the Xapo Bitcoin debit card is concerned.
While it is no secret that none of the physical Bitcoin debit card providers can ship cards to the United States, some news outlets are reporting that the card would not even be usable in the United States. That seems to be taking out of context, as Xapo issued the following statement regarding the launch of their Bitcoin debit card.
“The Xapo Bitcoin Debit Card is a Visa card that you can use for your purchases in stores, online and to withdraw cash at ATMs – all of this directly in bitcoin. The card is accepted in billions of stores and ATMs around the world. The Xapo Card works just like any other debit card, but instead of drawing funds from your bank account, it debits purchases directly in bitcoin from your Xapo main wallet. The Xapo Debit Card is not a pre-paid card, so you do not need to pre-load cards with cash to make purchases.”
Stiff Competition in the Niche Market
Xapo is slightly late to the Bitcoin debit card party, as various other companies around the world launched their cards months ago. Some of Xapo’s main competitors are BitWage, E-Coin and Bit-X, all of whom have created a large customer base around the world. Regardless of all of that, the company remains a very popular brand and it will be interesting to see how their product will evolve.
Unlike most competitor’s cards, the Xapo Bitcoin debit card will deduct funds directly from the Bitcoin wallet, rather than relying on manually funding the card every time. This is similar to the Bit-X debit card, which works in the same manner. At the time of publication, it was unclear as to whether or not Xapo is planning to issue cards in denominations other than USD.
Source: Press Release via Email
Images courtesy of Xapo, Shutterstock