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Xapo launches bitcoin debit card

25 April 2014  |  9545 views  |  9 Xapo Debit Card

Bitcoin startup Xapo has unveiled plans for a debit card that lets users pay with the crypto-currency wherever plastic is accepted.

The card will link to a user's Xapo bitcoin wallet. When a purchase is made, Zapo taps Bitstamp to exchange the customer's bitcoin for fiat currency which goes to the merchant.

Xapo wallet users will get a free virtual card for online purchases and can pay $15 for a physical companion - which will start shipping in around two months - for real-world transactions.

In a blog post, Xapp CEO Wences Casares says "we've made it simple for customers to spend their bitcoins at millions of businesses around the world without a merchant needing to accept bitcoin. It's convenient for users, and easy for merchants."

Last month Casares raised $20 million in funding for his bitcoin startup, which as well as providing a wallet also offers cold-storage, pitching itself as the Fort Knox of the bitcoin world.

Update:
Although Xapo initially suggested that it would offer a MasterCard card through a partner bank, MasterCard has told Finextra that it does not have a relationship with the bitcoin firm, adding: "There is no card program currently available."

Comments: (9)

Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 25 April, 2014, 10:04

"Banana" card anyone?.. Buy virtual bananas value of which is linked to a fiat currency of your choice, pay with fiat currency, get bananas debited on the account level. What's the big deal there?..

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 25 April, 2014, 10:17

:-((

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 25 April, 2014, 10:18

:-(

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Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto | 25 April, 2014, 10:43

Cheer up, anonymous. 

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 25 April, 2014, 11:01

This is GREAT!

It validates our DebitCOIN startup that ATLcombinators is accelerating in Atlanta and announced on LinkedIn in Jan 2014.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 27 April, 2014, 19:04

The BIN on the card image used is a Maestro BIN from Australia.

Will be interesting to see what the real deal is, especially given MasterCard's comments.

 

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 27 April, 2014, 23:10

Does MasterCard's comment, "There is no card program currently available.", refer solely to bitcoin related transactions???

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Geoffrey Barraclough
Geoffrey Barraclough - Barraclough and Co - London | 28 April, 2014, 08:53

The headline is a bit misleading. "Xapo launches" is rather different from "Xapo has plans for...."

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Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - FIS Payments Software and Services India - India | 30 April, 2014, 11:18

This coincides with MasterCard going for Lobbying with major part of compliance issues be drafted in application.

It will be interesting to see how MasterCard will bring up such card program with volatile currency as base...yes it's going to become  banana card !!!

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