Xapo want to make Bitcoins just that bit more physical
Xapo has set out to solve one inherent problem around widespread Bitcoin usage: nobody really accepts it in physical stores. So, for the Bitcoin storage and wallet service, the solution seemed natural – create a debit card that lets users spend Bitcoin anywhere.
It’s a smart solution to a rather widespread problem. Xapo’s debit card can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted, even though they aren’t partnered or affiliated with the payments company. The card can also be used online as well as in shops, and costs $15 to sign up to.
But how does it all work?
Well, very simply it seems. As Xapo is one of many companies who offer a digital wallet service that stores Bitcoins to pay others with, Xapo’s debit card taps into this wallet and piggybacks off MasterCard’s network to make it a ubiquitous solution. There’s also plans in the works to partner with other US banks and overseas banks to issue Xapo-branded debit cards that can operate on a Visa network as well as MasterCard too. However, this isn’t any endorsement of Bitcoin by the two major payments players.
“Xapo Debit functions like a traditional debit card and is a big step forward in the development of the bitcoin infrastructure – for the first time, customers have the ability to use bitcoin at any online or offline merchant that accepts debit or credit cards,” Founder and CEO Wences Casares said in the company’s blog. ”This makes it easy for users to pay with bitcoins in real-time and makes it seamless for merchants to accept payment. After a customer makes a payment using bitcoin, the merchant will receive the funds in their local currency.”
It’s also worth noting that the customer incurs no charge for using the debit card service, making it a fairly attractive proposition for anyone already invested in Bitcoin.
The card is expected to ship in the next couple of months, and users can sign up for it online at Xapo’s website.