On Monday BitPay announced its Visa debit card offering adding to the long and growing list of debit cards that can spend bitcoin. This is available in all 50 of the United States and much like other offerings in this space you can quickly and easily move bitcoin within debit range of the Visa Network for purchases where Visa is accepted. 

However this offering is different. In addition to bitcoin you can also load cash. 

The card works a bit differently than some of the other bitcoin debit cards in that you load the card much like you load a regular prepaid card. Prepaid cards are loaded with cash or by direct deposit through various channels instead of debiting a traditional depository account like a bank debit card. There is still a financial account involved at a bank much like a checking account. It's just not a checking account. 

Prepaid Cards Positives

Prepaid cards frequently target what the financial industry calls the "unbanked" be that individuals that either cannot get bank accounts or do not want bank accounts. At least that's the pitch by those offering these products. However, studies have shown that this is not actually the majority of who really uses them. They are more used to complement traditional banking products rather than to replace or substitute for them.

These cards are essentially used as a budgeting tool and surprisingly have more useful tools available to track spending than those available with traditional bank accounts.

For example, Wells Fargo and BBVA/Compass both have extensive online products available to accomplish a multitude of tasks including quickly transmitting thousands of dollars to other countries but not a single tool to efficiently help with transparency of allocated monthly spending outside of the ability to download the data into something else that can.

Bluebird (American Express/Walmart) and PayPal (Netspend) both "guess" at purchases and categorize spending into major categories. Bluebird will ask about a specific charge if it doesn't know and PayPal's online tool provides a graph of spending on its initial dashboard much like an accounting system would graph a profit/loss report allocated across a chart of accounts.

They are also cheaper than traditional bank accounts making them an inexpensive alternative to a secondary checking account and many banks are catching on. BB&T's MoneyCard and Chase Liquid both offer similar function and funding directly from traditional accounts at no charge, albeit without the fancy graphs. 

Point being, with BitPay's new offering (backed by Metropolitan Commercial Bank) offers the ability to bring bitcoin, debit transactions, cash, and traditional banking benefits together in a single account and offers much more than just a way to spend bitcoin.

The Verdict

This is a leap above what bitcoin debit cards have offered thus far and closer to a bank account replacement or complementary account for budgeting, travel, and other uses. This card feels more like bitcoin is just being added to an existing product and for many people that is going to be a better feeling card to get comfortable with. For others it won't be well accepted.

The downside is that you end up spending cash and not bitcoin since bitcoin is converted into currency when loaded to the card and that's something which may alienate bitcoin purists. Even the bitcoin purist will admit however that surviving on bitcoin alone is difficult without this happening anyway. Many vendors who accept bitcoin do not hold it and convert it into cash as quickly as they can. However many do and there is a legitimate argument there but you'd have just as hard a time living off of gold. Just take a nugget of gold to your local convenient store and tell me how easily you can buy milk. Same principal.

Once your bitcoin is loaded it doesn't appear as if that's a two-way street so unlike other bitcoin cards you'd only want to put what you need to spend on there but that's kind of the point of prepaid cards anyway. In this sense you could view something like the Coinbase/Shift card, which was introduce in the United States earlier this year, as more of a "traditional bank debit card" like most bitcoin debit cards are and the BitPay Visa card more as an "prepaid debit card" card making the a valuable financial tool to complement any currently held bitcoin debit card.

Be sure and check out the fees involved before you order one or start using it, they are comparable to most offering on the market.

You can learn more about the card or purchase one ($9.95) on the BitPay Visa card website.

Report by dinbits
Image by dinbits.com staff

The opinions expressed by authors of articles linked, referenced, or published on dinbits.com do not necessarily express, nor are endorsed by, the opinions the of dinbits.com or its affiliates.

Post a Comment

  1. They have almost cent percent visa success rate, you just need to fill up the online forms and then have to pay the fees that's it. Then just wait to receive the visa sanction letter. By using this agency you can stay away from the complex of visa processing. To know more you can visit the websites of Greenvisa please click here It is an authorised agency which offers all the assistance for travel in Vietnam.

  2. The drawback is that individuals may erase them by designing the PC or on account of infections.emerging cryptocurrencies

  3. Bitcoin can be traded in open markets,https://www.jetwin.com/en-us/bitcoin-casino which means that you can buy bitcoin cheaply and sell high.

  4. Bitcoin is the greatest, and most understood, of all the present digital forms of money, so is a decent spot to begin, and the most secure wager, at present. https://cryptalker.com/best-to-mine/


Powered by Blogger.