Uphold's New Debit Card Lets You Pay With Bitcoin, XRP and Gold

Digital payment platform Uphold has announced a new debit card, allowing users to pay with converted crypto, commodities and cash. 

Uphold’s new multi-asset debit card allows United States-based participants to spend assets held in their Uphold accounts at any Mastercard compatible location, a representative from Uphold told Cointelegraph in an interview. “Anywhere globally where Mastercard is accepted, they will be able to use this debit card,” she said. 

United States-based customers can now join a waitlist to get the card, which touts compatibility for 24 crypto assets, 27 fiat currencies, and four metals including Bitcoin (BTC), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Ripple’s XRP, gold, and U.S. dollars.

Uphold is a digital asset platform on which users can buy, sell, spend and hold digital assets, fiat currencies and commodities.  

Uphold is the first to combine asset worlds in debit form

Uphold’s multi-asset debit card is the first of its kind that allows users to convert different commodities, crypto-assets and fiat currencies to spendable cash at the point of sale. 

“If you toggle within the app that the debit card is connected to, you are able to spend, instantly, BAT, gold, palladium, silver USD — anything, anywhere, any time — in real time,” an Uphold representative said. “This really gives spendability across any connected asset.”

Uphold also touts no foreign exchange fees in the process. “We’re really trying to mirror and complement what our wallet already provides users, which is this anytime access to anything within our wallet,” she said. “We’re not prohibited by borders or foreign exchange fees.”

The platform also supports commodities

Although digital asset usage within such a system seems logical, one may wonder how they might go about holding and spending gold, a non-digital and somewhat clunky asset. 

“We do have a partner where our users who have gold can actually order physical gold, delivered to their house,” the representative explained. She noted that each asset on a user’s Uphold account has its own wallet, and users decide which asset they would like to spend on any given purchase.

“It’s not as if you have to show up and have the physical bag of gold,” she added. “It really just gives the user the freedom to decide what asset they want to spend, versus the limitation that current cards have.” 

This type of simplicity and low barrier to entry is a significant step forward in making crypto more functional and versatile. 

In December 2019, the company also announced work with Salt to provide the public access to crypto-backed loans.

UPDATE March 4, 18:57 UTC: This article has been updated with information Cointelegraph received from Uphold after initial publication. Uphold’s card has been announced, but not yet launched. Users can join a waitlist to get the card.