Visa has blocked prepaid credit cards that could be charged with Bitcoin or other crypto currencies. Affected are at least the international providers AdvCash, TenX and Xapo, which also offered credit cards in Germany.
A good morning looks different: Hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin credit card holders were informed on Friday before breakfast that their credit card-rechargeable credit cards are now only plastic.
The reason for this is apparently a large-scale action by Visa: The credit card company instructed the issuing bank to block all prepaid credit cards with immediate effect. The bank is Wave Crest Holdings Limited, based in Gibraltar, which served as the issuing bank for the suppliers AdvCash, TenX, Xapo and others.
First of all, no payouts
In an ad-hoc press conference via YouTube livestream, TenX president and co-founder Julian Hosp said it was not a general strike against crypto currencies but limited the issue to the issuing bank Wave Crest. Therefore one will spend new credit cards to the customers as fast as possible – thanks to own bank license one does not need a middleman for it anymore. Alone, about 200,000 customers are affected by TenX, which should receive their new cards in the coming weeks. In addition, until Monday evening Singapore time, it was not possible to transfer funds from the accounts.
Since the issuing bank Wave Crest informed the credit card holders directly by e-mail on Friday morning, quite a few may have misinterpreted the message as a phishing attempt. After all, they were not contacted by the company where they had ordered their credit card. Many may not even know that Wave Crest is the issuing bank.
Many questions are open
The blockage is likely to pique illegal traders in Darknet in particular: Bitcoin credit cards, if possible issued in a false name, are a popular method to convert extortion or drug money into cash – one speaks in the jargon of “auscashen”. Such cards applied for in foreign name could be bought in different markets, depending on the payout limits, for 100 to 300 euros.
An official statement by Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay states that US customers’ BitPay credit cards will continue to work. These are apparently from another bank. Only BitPay customers from Europe with West Crest cards are affected by the ban. The cause of the global bustle seems to be a problem between Visa and West Crest.