Bitcoin firm Xapo, which offers bitcoin vaults and wallets, launched a bitcoin debit card on Thursday as it attempts to net more users to the digital currency. The card will allow users to spend bitcoin, just like the conventional currency, reported Wall Street Journal.
“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,” said Wences Casares, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Xapo. “We are focused on making bitcoin more secure and safer and making it easier to use, the debit card is something that our customers have requested,”
The virtual option of the card can be accessed for free, though the physical one will go for $15. The card will be linked to a customer’s digital wallet held with Xapo, much like the way a conventional debit card is interconnected with a traditional bank account. Save for the cost of acquiring the physical card, other services such as the transactions and virtual wallet are free.
The company, which plans to use Visa and MasterCard’s payment systems, expect to start offering the cards in two months time. Xapo also plans to partner with U.S. and European banks to facilitate the transactions.
Xapo recently raised $20 million in start-up capital in order to expand its bitcoin infrastructure and offerings. The move to launch the card comes at a time when the interest in the virtual currency is growing despite various setbacks such as the February’s collapse of Mt. Gox. Tokyo-based Mt. Gox was the world’s leading bitcoin exchange until hackers stole its bitcoins. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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