Coinbase Takes on Cryptocurrency Gift Cards With Limited Rollout
Coinbase has debuted a new feature allowing users to purchase gift cards with cryptocurrency from brands such as Uber.
Major U.S. cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Coinbase has entered the crypto gift card market, allowing customers in certain countries to exchange coins for brand e-certificates, according to their July 25 blog post.
In the post, Coinbase confirmed the new option was made possible through a partnership with UK-based startup WeGift, and will effectively allow cryptocurrency holders to pay for goods and services through brands such as Nike, Tesco, Uber, Google Play, Ticketmaster, and Zalando:
“Starting today, Coinbase customers in the EU and Australia are able to instantly spend their cryptocurrency balances on e-gift cards, making us the first trading platform to offer direct withdrawals into e-gift cards.”
The blog post notes that the new service will be initially be available in the UK, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Australia, with plans to expand both the number of retailers and markets “over the next three months, as well as looking to expand into other countries soon after.”
While cryptocurrency acceptance among major brands remains decidedly low — travel booking giant Expedia quietly removed their Bitcoin (BTC) payment option in June — other industries accepting crypto have met with positive responses. The nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation received a 1,000 Ethereum (ETH) (around $469,000 today) donation the first day it added crypto payment options.