Binance releasing everyday crypto-backed Visa debit card
The Binance crypto-backed Visa debit card: Coming to 46 million locations near you.
Binance users will soon be able to pay bills and make purchases with cryptocurrency at over 46 million Visa merchants worldwide, both in-store and online, via the brand new Binance Visa debit card.
It looks just like a normal debit card, as long as this is your idea of what normal looks like:
It also works like a regular prepaid debit card, where you fill it with funds ahead of time.
In this case, those funds don't come directly from your main Binance account. Rather, they come from a Binance Card App account, which can be connected with your main Binance exchange account.
This app will be released for Android and iOS in the coming weeks. The app also lets users deposit BTC or BNB (with more options coming later) directly from their Binance account, view their transaction history, manage their PIN, withdraw funds and access customer support.
The card will be released in the coming months, initially arriving in South East Asia and going from there.
There are no monthly or annual fees for having the card, but there is a one-off US$15 payment for card delivery.
"We see the Binance Card as a further step in making crypto even more useful," said Josh Goodbody, Binance director of growth. "The Binance Card does everything a regular payment card does, plus much more. Users can forget about monthly or yearly card fees, and can expect unique features to be rolled out this year."
"Paying with crypto remains one of the biggest challenges in furthering utility and adoption. The whole team at Binance is dedicated to working towards solving these challenges and creating meaningful applications that enable crypto to be used by everyday people," said Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao. "We believe the Binance Card is a significant step in encouraging wider crypto use and global adoption."
Things that may be worth noting
Card transaction fees are probably still up in the air, but the very nature of card payment networks means they're hard to avoid. Where other cryptocurrency debit card payment cards avoid transaction fees, it's typically because someone other than the end user is swallowing the cost instead.
While the card has no maintenance fees, it's probable that transaction, loading or currency exchange fees of some kind will apply somewhere.
Also, this isn't Binance's first foray into cryptocurrency debit cards. In late 2019 Binance and TravelByBit partnered on a cryptocurrency-backed travel rewards card which was due for release in early 2020.
But with all the... well... with all the everything that's going on right now, this probably isn't a great time to release a travel rewards card for enthusiastic globetrotters.
Conversely, that could make it a solid time for this kind of product, letting people more effectively hedge against a loss of fiat value, at least until the cryptocurrency markets crash, without losing the ability to spend that money on a day to day basis.
One of the more substantial developments going forwards could be the addition of stablecoin support, for USD stablecoins, gold-backed stablecoins, basket cases like Libra and someday maybe even central bank digital currencies.
Throw those in and you've got yourself a (high risk counter-)party.
And by then you're a lot closer to a world where fiat currency has lost its monopoly.
If you're keen, you can register your interest at the Binance Card site.
Disclosure: The author holds BNB, BTC at the time of writing.
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