The popularity of cryptocurrencies has been on an upward trend since the beginning of last year, and even though there has been a drop in value of most cryptocurrency tokens in the last few months, the overall market is still quite optimistic. Several tokens have seen huge price increases, and while there have been previous crypto rallies where token prices have risen by similar amounts, the difference this time is that crypto has received backing from large institutions and banks.
There are many financial institutions who are attempting to either launch their own tokens or get into the market by investing large sums of money into tokens, and this has led to a lot of confidence among the general public. Several countries are more receptive to crypto as well, with Canada being a prominent example. It is one of the few countries where retail investors can invest in crypto ETFs on the stock exchange, while crypto is also widespread across various other sectors, including online gambling, with Canadian online bitcoin casino proving to be extremely popular.
This is also an example of how crypto is being used for making payments in various ways online, and therefore, there is a need for reliable payment methods that use crypto. Coinbase’s new cryptocurrency debit card is one such method that is slowly gaining more and more users, and it is now available on Apple Pay as well, which is sure to make it even more popular.
The Coinbase card is a Visa card that allows users to spend cryptocurrency as if it were fiat currency. It is now available for use on both Apple Pay and Google Play, which will increase its reach significantly, and also give users of both platforms a reliable way to use cryptocurrencies. Apple Pay support also means that users will be able to make contactless payments via crypto through their iPhones or Apple Watches. There is a waiting list of applications for the card at the moment, even though it has been released, with Coinbase having just started to send out invitations to those on the list this week.
Users can begin to use the virtual card immediately once they are added to the program by adding the details to their Apple Wallet, while the physical card will be delivered by mail and so could take a few days to reach. Transactions using the card will be made by converting any crypto in the Coinbase account to US dollars, with standard conversion fees being applied. However, users will be able to gain back as much as 4% through various crypto reward programs, while Coinbase also states on its website that transactions made via the Coinbase card will “typically result in a capital gain or loss.” This is primarily due to the fact that the value of crypto in user accounts at the time a transaction is made, is unlikely to be the same as it was when the crypto was bought, especially given the volatile price history of several crypto tokens over the last few months. Thus, consumers may actually gain or lose some value through the conversion to US dollars, but that is to be expected.
This is another step forward in the integration of cryptocurrencies into mainstream payment systems and the digital economy as a whole. Apple Pay and Google Play have hundreds of millions of users across the world, so the addition of crypto payment options into these ecosystems will help increase the popularity of crypto by a big margin, while also improving consumer confidence in crypto. Do not be surprised to see more and more day-to-day transactions taking place via crypto in the next few months through these payment systems.