Coinbase Announces Launch of Crypto Debit Card in Six European Countries

Coinbase, a digital currency exchange, recently announced it is launching its Visa debit card in six more European countries.

The card enables users in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands to spend cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin in physical and online stores at any merchants that accept Visa.

The card aims to make payments using digital currencies as seamless as paying with cash, Zeeshan Feroz, Coinbase U.K. CEO, said. With the Visa-powered card, customers can buy groceries and everyday items using cryptocurrencies.

The “extremely strong take-up” of the card’s launch in the U.K. in April prompted Coinbase to the launching in the six European additional countries. He said the firm “blew past” the first 1,000 cards it offered users for free.

Aside from getting a physical contactless card that users can use to withdraw cash from ATMs, they can also download a mobile app version that syncs directly with Coinbase accounts.

Users can choose which cryptocurrency to use in paying using the mobile app. Instead of paying retailers directly with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, Coinbase charges users a fee to convert fiat currencies, like the British pound, into a digital currency.

The San Francisco-based exchange has been expanding its reach and products significantly over the year. Recently, it has launched trading services to 50 more countries while adding trading support for its stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) in 85 countries. Coinbase also added its Ethereum-based DAI stablecoin to its Coinbase Earn program, which pays users with the cryptocurrency for watching educational videos.

Start-ups, tech companies, and banks are increasing their efforts to increase the accessibility of crypto payments and trading. Earlier this year, Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges and a rival of Coinbase, partnered with fintech firm Simplex to offer debit and credit card payments with crypto.