European Bitcoin exchange BitStamp launched a pre-paid debit card that can be loaded with bitcoin on Wednesday.
According to the London-based exchange, the debit card is accepted at anywhere major credit and debit cards are accepted. The card’s balance can be denominated either in British pounds, euros or American dollars.
The debit card has three stages of verification, each with its own spending limit. The most basic stage requires no know-your-customer verification and allows for €2,500 worth of transactions annually. Government ID, proof of residence, and a certified source of funds document is required for the highest annual spending limit, €125,000.
Crypto Debit Card
The debit cards can be ordered now. They are first received in a digital form that can be used only at online websites. A physical card for usage at brick-and-mortar retail stores can be ordered for $10. The card will take 10 to 15 business days to arrive.
After receiving the card, users can transfer bitcoin from a BitStamp account to it; a $10 flat fee will be taken for transfers of $1,000 or less. A 2 percent fee will be taken for anything above that.
Card holders will be able to see their transaction history, retrieve their PIN, order new cards and more at cardportal.com.
The debit card was launched through a partnership with the European and Latin American payment processor AstroPay. The London-based company operates the largest payment network in Latin America and has partnered with several Bitcoin companies in the past, including Latin American Bitcoin exchange Bitex.la, cryptocurrency development company Ripple Labs and the now-defunct exchange Mt Gox.
The card currently is not available to U.S. citizens. The Bitcoin exchange hopes to expand the service to United States, but BitStamp founder and CEO Nejc Kodrič said no launch date has been determined.
Jeffrey Maxim is a marketer and writer studying the emerging intersection of mobile, marketing, retail and fintech. Currently living in Uruguay, Jeffrey enjoys soaking up the country’s rich culture and listening to jazz and ska in his free time. He is also a hobbyist coder learning the basics of web development. Follow him on Twitter @jeff_maxim.