With each passing day, we’re seeing more and more innovative ways companies all over the world are coming up with to make Bitcoin more accessible to the average person.
Coins for Cash
One of the most recent is coincashcard.com, which offers a fairly straightforward way to fund your Visa/Mastercard debit card with the digital currency, Bitcoin. Recently, the BTC-E online exchange started offering its users with a way to reload their debit cards upon selling their Bitcoin on the platform.
What makes the Coincashcard different is that you can order a free Visa debit card, which you can fund by selling Bitcoins (or convert back from USD to BTC) through the Coincashcard.com website. So how does one acquire such a card? Well, according to the site’s FAQ section:
- Delivery times vary depending on your location. You should receive your card number and cvc code within 48 hours. The physical CoinCashCard can take up to two weeks to arrive.
- There is a 10 percent conversion fee [from Bitcoin to USD]. *Note: This fee can be reduced to 3 percent by referring new members. We do not charge any additional fees.
Pros and Cons
There are other caveats as well, including a major one, requiring customers to be US citizens and submitting your real address in order to receive the card via mail. The reason for this being that a VISA debit card may only be legally issued to US citizens with a proven identity through a driver’s license or another form of valid ID.
Since Coincashcard is a US-based company, they must store the personal data that’s needed to legally issue the debit card. This entails that sensitive information such as your name, street address and ID number will be on file; this information can then be turned over to authorities upon government request and if a warrant can be presented for it under the US Patriot Act. The website states:
- To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens a Card Account. What this means for you: When you open a Card Account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see a copy of your driver’s license or other identifying documents.
Unfortunately, this aspect of the service completely throws the fundamental principles of Bitcoin’s technology such as anonymity, unregulated and decentralized banking, out the window. Additionally, to open a Cashcoincard account, the the customer must also deposit a minimum of 0.218 BTC, which is approximately 100.63 US Dollars at the time of this writing. After this initial amount, the customer will be able to deposit any amount.
Nevertheless, despite the obvious downsides of this service at the moment, it allows you to easily reload your account with BTC and use it just like a regular debit card even to verify a PayPal account. Therefore, you can then use anywhere, for any purpose, and in any place where VISA is accepted including:
- India, Pakistan, China, Iran, and Nigeria. CoinCashCards can be used wherever you can use a Visa debit card.
Hence, this tool could prove to be very useful for people that don’t mind the idea of linking their Bitcoins to their real identity, purchases and ATM withdrawals. For every one else, I would recommend to wait until a similar service appears - one that would allow not just US citizens to take part while providing greater security and anonymity in line with the ethos behind Bitcoin’s technology.
If you are a customer of cashcoincard.com, we would love to hear about your experience with using this service.
DISCLAIMER: Cointelegraph.com takes no responsibility for your decision to use coincashcards and by signing up, you are acknowledging the risks involved. While Cashcoincard appears to be legit based on reviews on the dedicated message board bitcointalk.org, there have been reports of many scams online involving new methods of withdrawal and depositing BTC. Please be careful who you send your money to.