The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has launched its debit card that allows cardholders to pay for goods and services using crypto.
According to the official press release, the newly launched Visa-issued debit card is directly connected to a user’s Binance wallet. It would enable easy payments with crypto from anywhere in the globe.
Binance hailed the new initiative as necessary to make it convenient for users to make payments for goods/services with crypto. According to it, this would be a significant step towards promoting crypto adoption.
Usually, customers have to go through a painstaking slow process of selling crypto assets and convert them to fiat currency. This is an expensive way and also makes customers wait for the proceeds from the sale to reach their bank account.
The new crypto-backed debit card linked with the Binance.com account would make the whole process smoother and user-friendly.
“The Binance Card does everything a regular payment card does, plus much more. You simply top-up your card with funds through the Binance Card App in the form of Bitcoin or BNB, and you’re ready to go. It’s as simple as transferring BNB from one wallet to another,” the release explained.
Notably, over 46 offline and online merchants in 200 regions worldwide accept the Binance Card at present.
Binance card beta testing stage
According to the press release, the Binance Card would initially be available as a virtual card in a Beta version. The launch of a physical card is also in the pipeline.
During the beta testing period in April, the card will only be available to residents in Malaysia. Vietnam is slated as the next country for the card launch, with the rest of the world following suit.
Ordering the card costs $15 as a one-time charge. Binance maintained that there would be no other monthly or annual maintenance charges.
The card will also be paired with the user app to help manage it, including handling deposits from Binance accounts. Users can also view transaction history, change PIN, etc through the app.
According to reports, the US dollar would be the transaction currency of choice during beta testing. So, non-US customers would need to settle foreign exchange fees to carry out purchases.
Incidentally, the wallet balance in the user app will be in crypto, with the initial choice between Binance Coin and Bitcoin.
The exchange CEO, Changpeng Zhao, urged everyone to adopt the new debit card.
Let there be #adoption.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) March 26, 2020
Other related ventures
Coinbase launched a similar initiative in April 2019 in the UK. The Coinbase card allows users to spend cryptocurrencies directly from their Coinbase accounts. The debit card is currently not available in the US, but accessible in 29 European countries. Coinbase’s debit card supports ten cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, and DAI.
Also, earlier this month, Crypto.com announced that its MCO Visa Card had begun shipping to customers based in the UK.