Have you ever thought that someday you’d be able to pay for your groceries, your gas or even your morning coffee with Bitcoin? Well, ‘someday’ might not be as far away as you think.
The whole concept of Bitcoin may not be crystal clear to everyone, and nobody knows exactly what the future holds for the Internet currency. However, the fact remains that a lot of people have invested some serious money into Bitcoin, and it stands to become increasingly prominent in the future.
The small problem with this, however, is that it’s actually really hard to spend in real life right now. So, wise, forward-thinking people are trying to make this a reality.
Visa, one of the most trusted names in the financial world, has teamed up Coinbase and Shift Financial, Inc., to help create the “Shift Visa Debit Card”; A physical Visa debit card attached directly to your digital wallet. Taking Bitcoin a lot closer to the mainstream and letting people make regular everyday purchases with it outside of the Internet.
Cade Metz, senior writer staff writer for Wired recently wrote that “For Coinbase, the hope is that its existing customers will start spending more of their Bitcoin, rather than just speculating—and that new customers will be attracted to the digital currency because they can more easily spend it.” This is a big deal for Bitcoin, and the Visa name being attached to it means a lot for it’s adoption rate.
If you’re eligible to get one of these cards, you can use it wherever Visa cards are accepted. For the moment, the Shift Visa Debit card is only available in 25 states in the US, and of those, California is limiting it to a trial run of just 1,000 people.
Being the first U.S. Bitcoin debit card, it’s launch by a heavily venture-backed company like Coinbase should definitely create more interest in and larger appeal for the digital currency.
The fees are low, too. Just $10 to get a card, no annual fee, no fees (yet) for domestic transactions, 3 percent for international ones, and then $2.50 domestic and $3.50 international fees for ATM withdrawals.
Bitcoin might not be the future, but if it is, this is a pretty interesting start.