E-coin is looking to position itself as the most useful and comfortable tool for spending bitcoin anywhere in the world with the rollout of their cypto debit cards. The startup introduced an innovative way for Bitcoin enthusiasts to easily and securely convert crypto into fiat currency and spend funds through the global Visa infrastructure.
Anyone that holds bitcoin knows that one of the challenges we face today are the low number of options to spend bitcoin offline. And one way to tackle this concern, as proposed by e-coin, is by merging the Bitcoin infrastructure with the existing financial climate. In essence, they are taking an already widely accepted form of payment, debit cards, and combining it with Bitcoin to create a new hybrid cryptocurrency debit card.
Hybrid cryptocurrency debit cards
Currently, the company supports three different fiat currencies in addition to bitcoin. These currencies include USD, GBP and EUR. The EUR and GBP denominated debit cards are also independent of banks since they function on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Whatsmore, the cards are protected from unauthorized access of funds through BitGo’s multi-sig security. This means that no one (including e-coin themselves) can access an account without the appropriate number of keys issued to a user. The collaboration between e-coin and BitGo gives users a quick way to get a debit card in which funds are protected with some of the highest security in the industry, all while keeping their balance insured.
And because these are Visa cards, they can essentially be used at tens of millions of ATMs and merchants worldwide.
And as you may expect, there are some fees for using this hybrid cryptocurrency debit card. On top of a $2.50 ATM transaction fee, there is a $1 monthly maintenance fee, and a bitcoin withdrawal fee of 2%.
The daily ATM withdrawal limit is set at $US400 per 24-hour period, which can be raised to $US2,000 if a user verifies their identity. Before verification, cardholders are also limited to loading their card with no more that $US2,500, and cannot withdraw more than $US1,000 from ATMs. The limits are removed entirely for verified accounts.
Getting an e-coin card currently costs $US17, and they are shipping now. Unless you live in the United States. Regulations in the United States will not allow the company to ship cards directly to a US address at this time. The cards work as normal in the US, but getting them shipped will take some creativity.