Major US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase based in San Francisco announced that it has been approved as a Visa principal member.
First Pure-Play Crypto Firm to Join Visa
The firm said on its blog that the news would mark it as the “first pure-play crypto company” the credit card giant approve.
Coinbase has been partnering with Visa Since April 2019, when its Coinbase Card was launched in the UK. The debit card allows users to cash out cryptocurrencies anywhere Visa is accepted. Since then the card has been made available in 29 markets backed by 10 cryptocurrencies.
Visa’s main members are financial institutions which are authorized to issue certain types of payment cards. Coinbase could, in theory, issue cards to other crypto companies, though it’s not clear if it plans to use that power right away.
Coinbase said, commenting on Visa approval:
“membership will enable us to offer more features for Coinbase Card customers; from additional services to support in more markets — all elements that will help to evolve and enrich the cryptocurrency payment experience.”
Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange officially awarded the membership in December but not revealed to the public until today. The membership cuts a critical and costly middleman out of the process of issuing a debit card that allows users to spend their own bitcoin, ether and XRP anywhere Visa is authorized.
Membership Will Improve Bitcoin Debit Card Features
CEO of Coinbase UK Zeeshan Feroz said:
“Your Bitcoin (BTC) 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. It’s never been an instant. Oh, I’ll buy this cup of coffee with bitcoin. What the card is trying to change is the mindset that crypto is tucked away, takes two days to access, and can actually now be spent in real time.”