Coinbase has become the first “pure” cryptocurrency firm to become a Visa principal member. This lets Coinbase issue debit cards for other firms, cut out middlemen for its own debit card, and more.
The membership was reportedly officially awarded in December 2019, but was just revealed to the public.
This lets Coinbase issue its own Visa cards while cutting expensive middlemen. The firm offers users a Coinbase Visa card that lets them pay with crypto everywhere Visa is accepted, and supports nine cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, Brave’s BAT, litecoin, and others. It’s available in 29 countries.
Being a Visa principal member means Coinbase can issue debit cards for other companies, although the exchange claimed it isn’t planning on doing so for now but plans to upgrade its Coinbase Visa card which was launched in April 2019 to reduce its fees.
According to Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase UK, the Coinbase Visa card aims to help users’ crypto holdings become more liquid, as before users had to sell the funds to withdraw them and later on spend them. He said:
“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.”