The crypto card market is rising. Weld competitors’ full review
Back in 2012, the global media CNN published a story with the meaningful headline Be ready for a BTC debit card. Eric Voorhees, head of PR at that very moment influential BitInstant exchange announced the issuing of the first plastic card included digital assets support. It was released after some time in collaboration with Mastercard, but this project didn’t cause much excitement among users or within society. Later, the BitInstant exchange was closed, and its CEO Charlie Shrem was suspected and arrested for money laundering.
In the background of the cryptocurrency industry boom in recent years, there are many companies set of the idea of issuing their cryptocurrency cards. Here we will tell you about some most significant ones.
Not all cryptocurrency card launch projects were successful, despite the successful start. In 2015, the Bitfinex exchange announced this type of card issuing.
In 2016, BitPay processing service in partnership with Visa introduced its debit BTC card which allowed users of the platform to replenish their accounts, pay for purchases through POS terminals, and cash-out money at ATMs. A year later BitPay representatives said the cards became available in 131 countries, and about 20,000 people signed up for the payment tool wish list.
In 2018, the Litecoin Foundation bought about 10% of the shares of the German WEG Bank. It was assumed the acquisition would become the basis for the LTC card and the LitePay processing service launch but these plans didn’t materialize.
At the same time, several projects have overcome organizational and regulatory difficulties and launched their successful card solutions. Here are some of the most famous ones.
Wirex cryptocurrency cards offer their users several leading cryptocurrencies conversion and provide 0.5% cashback in BTC for purchases. They are very popular in Europe. The cards are delivered free of charge, the monthly service fee is only $ 1.5.
This is a multi-currency card with zero fees for cryptocurrency to fiat conversion. The card issuing fee will be $17. The card charges 0.5% cashback for payments in more than 150 currencies. There is a possibility of free cash withdrawal at ATMs.
For WXT tokens holders, there is a progressive cashback scale of up to 2% in the WXT token (in case of storing on the balance $5,000 equivalent). Wirex users have already received more than $1.3 million in cashback by April 2021. The company is known for the first-ever claim won in the High Court of London for infringement of the rights to its crypto cashback trademark.
The most spread crypto card in Europe. Issued by the WaveCrest Holdings bank headquartered in Giblartar with the support of the VISA payment service.
There are three types of Bitwala cards — Spectrcoin VISA, Shift Card, and E-Coin. All cards are linked to BTC, Euro, US dollar, and British pound, and also have physical and virtual shapes. Card maintenance and currency conversions are paid. At the same time, POS transactions are free of charge. The Shift Card is issued jointly by Coinbase and Shift Payments and supports the VISA system. E-Coin supports MasterCard.
The largest crypto exchange’s in terms of trading volumes card offers up to 8% cashback with a 30-day non-removable balance in the Binance Coin. To receive the maximum rate cashback this amount must be at the Launchpool account for one month.
The card has a 0.9% transaction fee, only five supported cryptocurrencies, and a $25 fee for issuing a physical card. There is also a simplified version of the base card with a cashback of 1%.
The Cryptopay platform offers debit cards with support for four cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple), which can be replenished through its wallet. Currently, the card is available to customers from the UK and Europe.
The American crypto exchange’s card is available for United States, Great Britain, and the European Union residents. The card offers various options for calculating cashback on purchases in cryptocurrency — from 4% in Stellar (XLM) or 1% in BTC.
The award is charged to the account within five working days. The daily limit of card operations is $2,500 for users from the United States, the limit for cash withdrawals is $1,000 per month. For users outside the United States, there is a high transaction fee of 2.9%.
The project offers an Obsidian card with an 8% cashback for all purchases, 10% for Airbnb payments, and 100% for Netflix, Spotify, and Prime services.
There are also free bonuses for airport VIP zones access and crypto events tickets. To activate the cashback, customers need to store on the card a non-removable balance equal to $400,000 in the CRO cryptocurrency.
Another project card is Ruby Steel. It also requires a deposit but much less — $400 only. The cashback for this card is up to 2% of all purchases and 100% for r Spotify. There is also a Midnight Blue card which doesn’t require a deposit and offers 1% cashback. The card allows you to withdraw up to $200 per month without a fee, over this amount the withdrawal fee will be 2%.
As you can see, all mentioned projects can’t be used within the CIS and Eastern European markets due to regulatory and banking difficulties. Weld can be described as the first solution in this region that promises to be as successful and equal as competitors in other markets.
Weld offers a cryptocurrency card with the ability to connect crypto wallets and pay for any purchases. The progressive architecture and integration of Visa and Mastercard allow Weld to avoid high transaction fees and freezing of funds on the card.
Weld’s advantages are seamless integration with ApplePay/GooglePay, the absence of taxes and hidden payments, the management of all transactions via a single application, as well as full PCI DSS compatibility.
The crypto cashback market is still inferior to the classic cashback in terms of volume, transparency, and ease of use. For debit crypto cards it’s caused by the difficulties of integration with conventional currencies, a high input threshold for the average user, and significant fees.
In the background of the rapid cryptocurrency industry growth, cryptocurrency debit cards are distributed quite slowly, facing a large number of primarily regulatory difficulties. For full-fledged adoption, it’s necessary to change the legislation and establish strong ties with global payment services.
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