BY DAYO ADESULU
Cryptocurrency space has assumed a new dimension, as exchanges have offered holders of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies debit cards to enable them to spend their digital currency on goods and services on a daily basis globally.
With the innovation, bitcoin debit cards let individuals make online or in-person purchases or withdraw cash from ATMs using bitcoin, even if the vendors and ATMs don’t accept cryptocurrency.
Thus, instead of exchanging Bitcoins into local currencies, cardholders preload their debit card with a set amount of cryptocurrency which is then automatically converted at the time of purchase.
Presently, there are about eight efficient exchanges in the fore that are offering debit cards to enable crypto users to spend their digital currency inch free.
Crypto.com card: It is one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to offer a debit card and accepts over 90 cryptocurrencies. With this feat, it becomes the card with the best variety of cryptocurrency supported.
It’s own by a crypto exchange, Coinbase. Those who use the Coinbase card get automatic conversion of cryptocurrency stored in multiple which can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. Its quick conversion, ease of use, and security features make it unique.
Binance debit card: Binance which was founded in 2017 now offers a Visa debit card with no administrative or processing fees. It also has 8% cashback.
The Wirex crypto payments platform offers a no-fee Visa debit card with direct Bitcoin cashback rewards, Bitcoins for referring friends.
BlockFi debit card: The BlockFi Bitcoin credit card offers 1.5% cashback in Bitcoin on every purchase and bonus Bitcoin rewards based on spending, snaring our top spot as the best for cashback.
BitPay debit card: BitPay offers a U.S.-based cryptocurrency debit card that can be used all over the world with no conversion fees when used within the U.S.
Bitwala debit card: Bitwala which is more used in the European countries, has a no-fee card policy because it lets cardholders pay using Bitcoin and Ethereum wherever Visa is accepted with no issuance or monthly fees.
BlockCard: On its part, the BlockCard is a U.S.-based Visa cryptocurrency debit card that offers flat monthly pricing and no deposit, exchange, or withdrawal fees.
>What does this new trend portend to cryptocurrency users and the entire world? It means that the rise of cryptocurrencies debit cards is offering more options to make online and in-store purchases and even withdraw cash from places that don’t accept cryptocurrencies.
It also depicts that the well-criticised cryptocurrency years ago has now been globally accepted as the new global money to pay for goods and services.
By this, there is no restriction to where holders of cryptocurrency debit cards can spend their money globally as the cards also work on machines that are not cryptocurrency made.
What impact does this have on the fiat and its debit card, if you ask me?
It indicates the gradual exit of fiat and its debit cards and the global acceptability of cryptocurrency by financial institutions and governments.
How can government agencies benefit from debit cards offered by Exchanges? Right now, many countries have indirectly assented to the legal use of Bitcoin by enacting some regulatory oversight.
Countries of the world should emulate Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Bulgaria to mention a few on how a country can benefit from cryptocurrency.
The United States Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has been issuing guidance on Bitcoin since 2013.
The Treasury has defined bitcoin not as currency, but as a money services business (MSB). This places it under the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires exchanges and payment processors to adhere to certain responsibilities like reporting, registration, and record keeping.
Besides, the U.S categorized bitcoin as property for taxation purposes by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The country generates income from this policy.
In the case of Canada, it maintains a generally Bitcoin-friendly stance while also ensuring the cryptocurrency is not used for money laundering.
Bitcoin is viewed as a commodity by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
This indicates that Bitcoin transactions are viewed as transactions, and the income generated is considered as business income
The taxation also depends on whether the individual has a buying-selling business or is only concerned with investing.
In the case of the United Kingdom (U.K.), Investopedia reports that it has a pro-Bitcoin stance and wants the regulatory environment to be supportive of the digital currency. As a result, bitcoin in the U.K is under certain tax regulations.
This is just as the National Revenue Agency (NRA) of Bulgaria has also brought bitcoin under its existing tax laws. For Germany, it’s open to Bitcoin because it considers it legal but taxed differently depending upon whether the authorities are dealing with exchanges, miners, enterprises, or users.
The aforementioned countries and many others are boosting their national reserves in cryptocurrencies through taxation from exchanges, miners and investors. Cryptocurrency has indeed come to stay!