San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, expanded its services after debuting its Visa debit card in the U.K. in April. The exchange has now taken a step further after it announced the launch of its Visa debit card in six more European countries.The Coinbase card enables users with Coinbase accounts to spend cryptocurrencies in stores and online, at any merchant that accepts Visa.
The Coinbase card will now be available in Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands. The card allows users to make payments and spend digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc. for the purchase of goods and services.
Coinbase’s U.K CEO, Zeeshan Feroz, had this to say about the latest development,
“You can buy groceries on Bitcoin and then coffee on Litecoin right after.”
He also added that the goal of the card is to make payments with digital currencies as seamless as paying with cash.
The card is also available on a mobile app which syncs directly with Coinbase accounts. Physical contactless cards that can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs are also available. However, Coinbase will charge its users a fee to convert fiat money into cryptocurrencies.
Feroz added that the Coinbase card recorded an extremely positive reception since its launch in the U.K., as the company quickly blew past the initial 1,000 cards it had offered for free to users. Coinbase hopes to expand the card into other markets, but is presently on the lookout for the right banking partners.
“We will be looking at all our key markets including the U.S,” Feroz added.
Coinbase was in the news recently after a report revealed that the U.S-based exchange and Binance shared a lion’s share of the global exchange trading volume. Further, CEO Brian Armstrong made good on his 17-month promise, and revealed that batched transactions were coming soon to Coinbase.
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Bitcoin is an enterprise; its users are comparable to traditional shareholders, claims Goldmoney Founder
Bitcoin was conceived in the backdrop of banks bailouts and the 2008 financial crisis. The recession and the loss of faith in banking, financial institutions gave Bitcoin a platform to rescue the ones affected, giving them hope for a better financial system without the hassle of corrupt institutions. With the rise of Bitcoin’s fame, both in the darknet and in the mainstream, questions about its regulations had to arise.
The question was put to rest when the SEC/CFTC ruled Bitcoin as a commodity and taxed it. However, Goldmoney’s Roy Sebag brought this discussion up again recently in his tweet thread, where he said that Bitcoin as an enterprise is working towards its good, comparing its users to traditional “shareholders” among other things, while concluding that Bitcoin is a security. He tweeted,
“Is Bitcoin a security? <10 years old so regulators haven’t even had enough time to truly learn how it works (think Napster or Kazaa in early days). Miners are clearly issuing coins and responsible for governance, an absence of formal relations among them is irrelevant….”
In successive tweets, Sebag attributed miners with the role of “stewarding” the so-called enterprise. In return, these miners get paid in “direct fees” or in “share appreciation.” In Bitcoin’s case, it is the mining reward, which is “BTC”. Similarly, buyers are compared to “shareholders” with a common interest in the enterprise, i.e. profit. Sebag added,
“Coins trade at exchanges. The common enterprise is designed for the price appreciation of coin.”
Bitcoin could face a shutdown by the government, just like it did with big players in file sharing, said Sebag, who added that Bitcoin could also be interpreted as a security under the “34 act of the SEC.” The Goldmoney Founder concluded that “this realization rests on the belief that neither Bitcoin nor any common enterprise is truly decentralized.”
However, his inputs weren’t very well-received by many in the crypto-community. Casa’s CTO Jameson Lopp refuted Roy Sebag’s ideas, tweeting,
“Roy will believe what he wants to believe, though if he’s not actually participating in Bitcoin then his beliefs are irrelevant to its consensus formation.”
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