Cryptocurrency debit cards are not the best way to spend Bitcoin and altcoins, but they are a very convenient solution. Although some people prefer to spend “pure” cryptocurrency rather than use this vehicle, a debit card is a more-than-valuable tool for many people right now. bitFlyer, one of Japan’s leading exchanges, has started issuing its own payment cards. It’s an interesting and surprising decision, to say the least.
More Cryptocurrency Debit Card Competitors Emerge
Although we have seen multiple types of cryptocurrency debit cards over the past few years, there is always room for more competition. Quite a few cryptocurrency ICOs are trying to make a big impact in this space as we speak. There is also a rather lengthy list of existing companies, including CoinsBank, Xapo, Wirex, and several others. Although some people may claim the market is oversaturated, bitFlyer feels very differently about things.
To be more specific, the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange provider is now issuing its own Bitcoin debit card. It will be a Visa-branded card, which can be used in both online and offline fashion as users see fit. Considering that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have obtained legal status in Japan this year, it is only logical we would see more products like these being provided to the masses over the coming months and years.
What makes the bitFlyer debit card so interesting is its fee structure – or the lack thereof, actually. There is no admission, annual, or usage fee by the looks of things. While it is not uncommon for trading platforms to operate on a 0% fee structure, bringing the same concept to Bitcoin debit cards is not straightforward by any means. After all, these cards are usually provided through a third-party service provider which stands to make money from the fees associated with funding the card, processing transactions, and sending text messages related to transactions.
There will be two different types of bitFlyer cards. One is a black prepaid Visa card, whereas the other is a blue prepaid Visa card. There doesn’t appear to be any major difference between the two, other than with the design itself. To sign up for the card, one must have an active bitFlyer account and submit the necessary identity verification documents, which is only to be expected. Users can also withdraw money from ATMs with this card, just like they could with any other payment card.
Additionally, bitFlyer’s page references a companion mobile app, which is developed by Vandle. This name is also on the top right of every bitFlyer Bitcoin debit card. Users will need to sign up through this app and use it to activate the card as well. It is a pretty straightforward process, all things considered, and will certainly be appreciated by a lot of cryptocurrency users across Japan. Every card will remain valid for five years and have a monthly charging limit of 120,000 yen (US$1,065.72).
Interestingly enough, it appears only 1,000 of these cards will be made available. There will be 500 of each type of card, and cardholders will seemingly be selected at random through a lottery procedure. The lottery period concludes on October 22nd, which should give applicants ample time to make sure they are eligible to receive such a card. It is unclear if more of these cards will be made available in the future, although that is certainly a possibility.