Crypto Debit Cards are Taking Bitcoin Mainstream.
How Entrepreneurs Can Benefit.
Enter crypto debit cards — the old-meets-new innovation that's poised to light a fire under cryptocurrency adoption among regular consumers — and is primed for entrepreneurial action. Crypto debit cards are like regular debit cards. They've got a Visa or MasterCard logo. They work everywhere. But, instead of pulling from your bank account, they pull from a cryptocurrency wallet. Confused? Here are the basics:
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is virtual money. It's created by algorithms and sustained by computer networks run by real people and serviced by profitable corporations. It's money that isn't subject to direct devaluation through political means, the way fiat currencies are. And it's very hard for governments to confiscate. Cryptocurrency can move across political borders without delay, taxation or notice — much like email. It's also relatively new, less than a decade old, and it's just seen its first unicorn (Coinbase). That means it's primed for new waves of venture capital in the short term.
One unit of the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is currently worth three times the value of one ounce of gold, and it's considerably more portable. Bitcoin has a hard limit of 21 million total units, which is expected to result in deflationary pressures once that limit is reached. Ethereum, second in popularity after Bitcoin, is not just a currency but also a smart contract platform. You can program smart contracts to help people exchange anything of value in a conflict-free way, without middle men — sort of like a vending machine.
Speaking of middle men, what about banks? Cryptocurrency has the potential power to eliminate them, along with their fees and limits. And its transactions are nearly anonymous and shockingly inexpensive. In short, cryptocurrency — and I write this, having no direct financial stake in it — is the future of money, and it's a field that has a lot of room for new startups.
Spending is the challenge.
With more than 900 cryptocurrencies out there, access to opportunities for earning, trading and investing them has not been a problem. The challenge now is how to spend them in the real world. So far, we've relied on a ragtag DIY network of ATMs and QR-code apps. The new thing, however, is that we can now use crypto debit cards — a bridge between the crypto world and the bank-card point-of-sale world that everyone is familiar with. Crypto debit cards are frictionless for beginners and easily understandable. They're making crypto mainstream for regular consumers.
Why crypto debit cards?
Crypto debit cards offer a lot of benefits over both the old way of trading cryptocurrency for fiat at exchanges and the traditional spending of fiat currency via credit and debit cards. They include:
You can now spend dozens of cryptocurrencies and tokens at businesses worldwide without having to worry about exchanges or exchange rates. You can buy just about anything you want with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This could be the tipping point for cryptocurrency.
You can spend your crypto holdings now as easily as you use your Visa or MasterCard. Buy groceries, order pizza and pay the bills all without having to pre-convert your cryptocurrency at an exchange. Or withdraw cash at thousands of ATMs. Conversion is now painless and invisible. You can spend freely, and live purely on Bitcoin — and no one will be the wiser.
Visa and MasterCard are accepted almost everywhere. Never again will you need to ask if a vendor accepts Bitcoin. No more hunting for buyers on LocalBitcoins.
Many crypto debit cards enable you to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum and other coins and tokens, so you've got lots of choices when it comes to how to hold your money and which of your crypto holdings you want to liquidate.