Coinbase’s Crypto Debit Card Arrives in the European Union

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On Wednesday (June 12), Coinbase announced that its crypto Visa debit card, the “Coinbase Card”, which it launched in the United Kingdom last month, is now available in six other European countries: Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

On April 11, Coinbase announced a new Visa debit card for its UK and European Union (EU) customers that allows them to easily spend any of the crypto balances in their Coinbase account to pay for goods/services anywhere that Visa is accepted or for making cash withdrawals from ATMs. 

Appropriately enough, the new “Coinbase Card” was announced on the same day that Coinbase’s previous attempt at a crypto-to-fiat Visa debit card, the “Shift Card”, which was only for U.S. customers, stopped working (since that program has now been “retired”).

Here is everything you need to know about the Coinbase Card:

  • The Coinbase Card was launched on April 11 for UK customers only, but Coinbase did promise “to support other European countries in the coming months.”
  • This is apparently the first debit card “to link directly with a major cryptocurrency exchange” in the EU.
  • To apply for the Coinbase Card, Coinbase customers need to download the Coinbase Card app from iOS’s App Store or Android’s Play Store. (If you do not see these apps in the aforementioned places, try using the links on the Coinbase Card website.) You then need to sign in using your Coinbase account credentials. 
  • After a Coinbase Card has been requested, you will be joining a waitlist. Coinbase’s blog post says that after “the waitlist closes”, “your crypto balance held on Coinbase will be immediately available to use through the in-app virtual card, and a contactless Coinbase Card will be sent in the post.”
  • In the EU, the Coinbase Card has an “issuance fee” of EUR 4.95.
  • You can spend any cryptocurrency that is supported by Coinbase.com in the jurisdiction that you live in, as long as you have a non-zero balance in the wallet for that cryptocurrency in your Coinbase.com account. (An up-to-date list of supported digital assets is available in the Support section of the Coinbase website.) 
  • When you wish to use your Coinbase Card, to pay for something or to get a cash withdrawal from an ATM, you need to use the Coinbase Card app to select which crypto wallet in your Coinbase.com account is to be used for that transaction, at which point Coinbase will perform an automatic conversion from that cryptocurrency to fiat currency (e.g. EUR).
  • For “domestic” (i.e. within your home country) purchases, the “crypto liquidation fee” is 2.40% of the transaction amount.
  • For “domestic purchase” transactions, there is no fee; however, for “inter-EEA” transactions and “international purchase” transactions, the fees are 0.20% and 3% of the value of the point-of-sale (POS transaction) respectively.

Zeeshan Feroz, Coinbase UK/Europe’s CEO told CNBC that the aim was to make payments using cryptocurrencies as easy as cash payments:

“You can buy groceries on bitcoin and then coffee on litecoin right after.”

Featured Image Courtesy of Coinbase

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