Bitcoin (BTC) is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of over $500 billion. Yet, it hasn’t reached a point of adoption where most merchants can accept it as payment. A Bitcoin crypto card offers a workaround by letting users instantly convert their tokens into fiat to pay for things. Let us examine Bitcoin debit cards, what they are and how they work.
So What Exactly Are Bitcoin Cards?
They are prepaid debit cards that you can top up with BTC and spend in fiat currency. Whenever you pay for an item denominated in fiat, the equivalent amount in BTC is automatically deducted from your account or wallet on the card provider.
Most stores do not accept BTC directly, so this type of card offers a workaround to this issue. The conversion is instant, and you can use your tokens to pay for everyday stuff. The exchange rate at the time of payment depends on the market rate for Bitcoin against your local currency.
Types of Bitcoin Debit Cards
There are two main types of BTC crypto cards: virtual and physical.
It is “virtual,” as in, you don’t have physical possession of it. What you have is the uniquely generated numbers for the card that you can input to purchase things online. You can add it to your smartphone or browser wallet, and it will automatically fill in the details for you when you want to purchase anything online.
You cannot use this type of card to withdraw cash because you don’t physically possess it. It is limited to just online transactions.
Here, you have physical possession of the card in a plastic or metal encasing and with a computer chip. You can use it for both online transactions and to pay for things in person, e.g., at a restaurant or store. You can also withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) with this type.
The slight drawback of this type of card is that it can be stolen or lost. It also takes longer to get because the provider will have to ship it to your address.
How Do Bitcoin Debit Cards Work?
They work similarly to a traditional bank card but with BTC. They are issued by exchanges or wallet providers. You can deposit Bitcoin on an account linked to it, then use it to pay for stuff denominated in fiat currency.
Anytime you swipe the card or enter the details, BTC is instantly converted from your wallet into fiat to make the required payment. This provides a workaround wherein you can use BTC to pay for everyday items, albeit indirectly.
Because it is a debit card, you must first top up the wallet linked to it with cryptocurrency before making any purchase. It is unlike a credit card, where you can spend above the amount contained in your wallet and pay back later.
Benefits of Bitcoin Debit Cards
They save you the stress of needing to convert your BTC into fiat and depositing the proceeds in a bank account to spend. You can skip that step and directly spend the BTC in your wallet. This ensures convenience for users.
Spend in Multiple Currencies
Many crypto cards allow users to spend in multiple fiat currencies. You can use it to pay for goods and services anywhere in the world where Visa or Mastercard, the two most popular issuers of such cards, are accepted. This benefit mostly applies to people that travel constantly.
Many providers offer rewards to people that use their cards. For instance, you can get reimbursements for app subscriptions or a small percentage of cashback on all purchases. You may also get loyalty points, travel miles, discounted exchange rates, etc.
Some crypto cards have lower transaction fees than traditional debit cards. Some even waive the transaction fees if you spend past a certain amount.
We have explained what a Bitcoin debit card is and how it works. We also listed the benefits of using it. If you are shopping around for one, you can watch out for CryptoWallet’s upcoming card that will support BTC and dozens of other cryptocurrencies.