Coinbase is the first cryptocurrency company to secure Visa’s main membership

Coinbase Inc. obtained a major membership to Visa Inc., a decision that allows the cryptocurrency company to provide more features to customers who choose a Visa card to access their crypto funds.

The decision was made in December but was only announced today. It makes Coinbase the first pure play crypto company to be approved as a leading Visa member.

Previously, Coinbase has offered Visa cards to consumers, but this was in partnership with other companies such as with the Visa Visa Debit Card launched in 2015. Shift closed in February 2019, denying Coinbase users a debit card option.

The current iteration of the Coinbase debit card started last year with the launch of the Coinbase Card in the UK The new membership with Visa allows Coinbase to offer the card in 29 markets with support for 10 cryptocurrencies. “This membership will allow us to offer more features to Coinbase Card customers; from additional services to support in more markets – all elements that will help evolve and enrich the cryptocurrency payment experience, ”said Coinbase on Medium.

The Coinbase Card was initially issued in conjunction with Paysafe Group PLC. Approving the main membership of Visa means that Coinbase, if it chooses, does not need to rely on Paysafe or any other third parties to issue Visa cards.

The announcement has been well received in the cryptocurrency community. The Daily Hold wrote that “by allowing people to spend digital assets on over 40 million traders worldwide, the integration is helping to transform bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from a new technology used by the few powering currencies everyday transactions for millions and billions of shoppers – like cash. ”

Consumers are likely to see little change given that Coinbase is already issuing cards to consumers. That said, Visa membership will allow Coinbase more freedom to place cards in more markets, meaning more Coinbase users could take the option.

“Your bitcoin holdings have never been liquid because you have to sell them, you have to go through a process, withdraw the money, and then spend it. There was never an instant, ‘Oh, I’ll buy this cup of coffee with bitcoin,’ ”Zeeshan Feroz, chief executive officer of Coinbase UK, told Forbes. “What the card is trying to change is the mindset that crypto is abducted, takes two days to access and can actually be spent in real time.”

Photo: Marco Verch / Flickr

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