It is unprecedented for a company to offer its users a multitude of cryptocurrencies on its payment platform, and Wirex announcing its move into the huge, untapped market in the United States is big news. Suddenly, coins which before had little more than speculative value can be used to make payments on a day-to-day basis.
Those who apply for a Wirex card have the option to load it up with Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin and the crypto and traditional currency payment platform has future plans to add more coins.
Before now, Americans could only play with Bitcoin
There is actually only one crypto-debit card that is available throughout the entire US. BitPay has led the space for a while now on the continent with a payment service centered on Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash and a Visa debit card which costs $9.95.
Shift has also been around for several years though it only offers debit cards to residents of 46 states. It offers users seamless integration with their Coinbase account, but this comes with an upfront cost; the price to pay for a Shift Bitcoin debit card is $20.
Neither of the two platforms charge maintenance fees, but with Wirex offering a free card with a negligible at $1.5/month fee, this is possibly inconsequential, due not just to the diversity of its offering, but also the fact that Wirex offers customers 0.5% ‘cryptoback’ on every purchase made with its Visa crypto card.
Wirex is giving its customers more
Extra features are always good and functionality is key, especially for a mobile app-based payment platform. But it is not difficult to understand that people will always be most attracted to a service that makes them feel in control of their money.
Although not a major issue, it is a source of annoyance that BitPay only lets you convert crypto to fiat currency – not the other way around – whereas Wirex facilitates the exchange both ways instantly and using live rates without additional fees or commissions. Shift perhaps swerves this issue by virtue of its link to Coinbase, however, this is far from an ideal solution since Coinbase charges 3% transaction fees.
Wirex has an impressive product on its hands and an expansion into the US brings with it a fresh opportunity for other cryptocurrencies to enjoy wider use. XRP is already on the rise; one wonders whether introducing the Wirex crypto card to the US can spark further growth.