A note about crypto payment cards: why adoption is coming

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Crypto’s like real money you know. You can get it online, accumulate it, mine it, get sent it for content you’ve made, or from providing a tech service (sharing your hard drive). Did you know you can spend it…?

Payment cards are interesting beasts right now for cryptocurrency, for people trying to move away from any normal bank interruptions. They are pioneering the mountain face of finance. They are great fun.

[Note: this is not a sponsored post.]

Load up a Wirex card by sending it Bitcoin, and then wait until you’re ready (or standing in the shop) to exchange it into whatever fiat currency we must tolerate for now. All through using the beautiful app, which displays many wallets in many cryptos.

[Links are personal affiliate links to Wirex, mainly because I’m enjoying using it right now.]

When ‘true’ crypto cards arrive, where lots of merchants can accept cryptocurrency directly, we’ll all be in digital money wonderland, with value zipping around the real and virtual world like nothing ever seen, but until that (trickier to regulate? who knows) time comes…

For now I simply love the experience of Wirex (uk-based fintech) because the fees aren’t quite so bad for buying/selling crypto, versus Coinbase and Bitpanda.

So… yes… you can transfer a nice array of cryptos directly to your app-based crypto-wallets and then exchange to fiat on the fly. They support multi-currency fiat wallets too.

It’s not as feature-laden as Revolut but then Revolut currently doesn’t offer an actual crypto wallet, where you can transfer in/out. But just like Revolut etc. you can manage your cards, accounts via the feature-rich mobile app.

Revolut ‘Vaults’: This is a great feature of Revolut: you can select to round up your spare change that it automatically sticks into a Bitcoin Vault account. Nice!

With Wirex, you can allocate however much fiat you want to your payment card / various card accounts. In fact, I forgot to do this, and then wondered why my card was getting declined in the shops (!)

It would also be great to see Wirex expanding their coin integration to include Steem and Nrve (Narrative.org) or Neo one day.

It’s interesting to see how the new Wirex (WXT) and Bitpanda (BEST) tokens could impact the use of these payment cards, by reducing some fees (depending on what tier you can manage). Is this one solution? Will the Coinbase Card ‘token’ be next ‘on the cards?’

The Coinbase Card does take the pain out of having to top up beforehand (it converts it automatically at the point-of-sale) but… that luxury is more pricey than a bank. I’m not happy paying Coinbase fees and would rather leave crypto as crypto for as long as possible, depending on the project of course. (When my sentiment changes on that, the price of Bitcoin will likely be far higher.)

I love Nexo. I love the online interface, smart mobile app and interest-earning options for cryptos. Nexo are a big solid presence in the space. I love the idea that the more crypto you have, the more fiat credit you’re automatically entitled to. Collateralized debt option. Now there is a payment card to boot (I don’t have one at this time so can’t comment on the experience).

So… bring it on and bye bye horrible old bank credit card — as long as I can earn some darn crypto and load the thing up.

The Nexo tokens I’ve been holding have at least increased which was something as you get dividends on how long you’ve had them for.

The main point is, these cards/apps are the closest thing we can get to spending crypto (if you happen to make any considerable gains these days) without using a traditional bank. They are actually enabling or encouraging progress to happen, and it feels great to have this option.

The next (giant) leap up would be to use an actual crypto app wallet with its own payment card that was accepted everywhere, with only network fees to pay. Sheer, unadulterated QR-code heaven.

Of course, it’s worth looking into the details of all these cards in terms of the greatest bugbear right now: Fiat-to-crypto conversion fees. Ugh!

Sept 2019.

Your experiences with crypto payment cards most welcome below.

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