Xapo to take Bitcoin mainstream with new debit card

E-commerce

by CBR Staff Writer| 28 April 2014

Consumers may be able to spend bitcoins via debit in the next two months.

Underground Bitcoin vault service provider Xapo has unveiled a new credit card service which could take the cryptocurrency mainstream.

The Xapo Debit Card claims to be the first Bitcoin debit card in the world, and will allow users to use bitcoins like cash.

Xapo said that their credit card will be linked to the company's Wallet service, which allows users to carry out online or offline transactions with merchants that accepts debit or credit cards.

After the transaction is executed, the merchants will be paid in local currency.

Xapo Founder and CEO Wences Casares said that the new service has made it simple for customers to spend their bitcoins at millions of businesses around the world without a merchant needing to accept bitcoin.

"It's convenient for users, and easy for merchants," Casares said.

"Our goal at Xapo is simple – to expand upon the existing infrastructure of the bitcoin network and provide the public with the tools to take full advantage of bitcoin."

"We continue to believe that for bitcoin to develop as a global payment network, it's the responsibility of companies like Xapo to create the infrastructure and tools necessary to give people the experience and true advantages of bitcoin."

Xapo is planning to issue the debit cards to customers within the next two months, with physical cards costing about $15, whilst a digital version of the card will be provided free of charge.

The company also said that it will use the payment networks of existing providers such as Visa and MasterCard to facilitate bitcoin payments, but later backtracked on this claim.

MasterCard told CoinDesk that it does not have a relationship with Xapo, and has no knowledge of the company's planned product launch.

Casares later clarified that it is currently negotiating with an undisclosed bank to launch the open-loop debit card product, but it is yet to select a credit card network.

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