Many people are asking me how do I spend Bitcoin and what is the easiest way to convert it back to your local currency. Since the beginning of 2018 most users were hit by many regulators who restricted the access to digital currencies in an attempt to slow down the leaking of capital from the banking sector into the crypto sector and it succeeded for a while. It came at a time when Bitcoin was going through a massive correction from its all time high in December and combined with the joint effort from governments and banksters (these two are usually working together as you know) it brought a lot of panic and the subsequent bearish market that is still struggling to recover.
Throughout 2016 and 2017 we had a great number of companies that issued debit cards and users in US, Europe and some Asian countries enjoyed a trouble-free Bitcoin transacting in stores all over the world. This came to halt in January when Visa and their European partner Wavecrest announced a sudden closure of all crypto-related debit cards. Effective immediately. This was unexpected and thousands of people were left in the cold without an alternative.
Fast forward 5 months and we are already seeing two very well-known services offering their card solutions. These are Revolut and Wirex.
Revolut is an online bank with many knock-out prices for a wide range of services such as multi-currency accounts including Bitcoin, free international money transfers, fee-free global spending, no-commission interbank exchange rate and more. As a company they have been around since 2015 with a great track record and reliable service. Their Bitcoin option is available to Premium customers and you can either pay for the premium service (£6.99 per month) or you can qualify for the Bitcoin option by bringing 3 customers via your resonal ref link. As a premium customer you pay lesser fees on withdrawals or currency conversions (mostly free of charge) so it’s the better choice for those who will operate with large amounts. I have been using it since March and I have no complains except the fact that you must buy or sell your BTC inside the app, you cannot receive bitcoin to your account from outside. Fiat currencies supported are: USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CAD, NZD, CHF, JPY, SEK, HKD, NOK, SGD, DKK and PLN. You can order their card via the mobile app (iphone and android are both supported).
Wirex is another trusted operator that announced their new Bitcoin debit card on 17 May, again in partnership with Visa, minus the crypto hostile Wavecrest partner. Wirex is one of the first crypto debit card service which was originally called “E-coin” in US and later (in 2016) rebranded to Wirex and expanded to Europe and other regions. Fiat currencies supported are USD, EUR and GBP. They charge a monthly fee which is less than Revolut charges per month but their fees for usage (i.e. ATM fee, loading fee, currency conversion fee) are slightly higher. This would be the better option for people who work with small amounts. The fees are listed on their website and may change so it’s best to check these prior to ordering. All card fees are in compliance with Visa so they are pretty standard. Currently only Bitcoin is available but there’s plans to add Litecoin and possibly more altcoins will be added as time goes by.
You can order your card from their website or via the mobile app available on Iphone and Android : https://bit.ly/2IZ84Q2
Both service providers require KYC (know your customer) identification verifying, without which they would not be able to operate. This is also a standard nowadays, all companies are required to comply with the regulators where they are based and there’s currently no option for unverified customers to use their cards (the limit for Revolut is 200 euros without verification which is to avoid money laundering and other fraudulent activities).
I will keep you updated on more of these services when they become available, right now there are 4 other companies coming up with their own physical card solutions so make sure you keep an eye on my posts. I hope this will help many people to have easy access to their crypto funds and trouble-free experience.
The links for the two services are:
Wirex : https://bit.ly/2IZ84Q2
Revolut : https://bit.ly/2HeEm95