Leading debit card manufacturer and service provider Wirex has successfully integrated the API of the instant cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift to enable its users to fund their cards with Ethereum, Monero, Litecoin, and 12 more alternative cryptocurrencies.

Wirex debuted its first Bitcoin debit card in July 2016, to allow the growing Bitcoin userbase to transact in any Visa or Mastercard-supported stores, retail outlets, and e-commerce platforms using the digital currency.

As an initiative to reduce friction between Bitcoin and other leading currencies, the UK-based startup added some innovative features that support banking operations and the purchase of Bitcoin through mainstream payment service providers like PayPal.

Although the Wirex team still believes that Bitcoin remains the dominant cryptocurrency in the market, the company states that the importance of addressing alternative cryptocurrency users must be realized, considering the rapid growth of other major digital currencies like Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero.

Altcoin ecosystem

Over the past few years, altcoins, or alternative cryptocurrencies, have earned a bad mainstream image due to the scam-like characteristics and features of most appcoins. However, some legitimate cryptocurrencies like Monero have begun to gain mainstream approval due to their ability in providing services and features which Bitcoin is struggling with.

For instance, Monero is currently the world’s largest privacy-focused cryptocurrency, which provides a significant advantage over Bitcoin in terms of anonymity and financial privacy.

“Bitcoin enjoys first-mover advantage and dominates the crypto market. However, as the ecosystem matures, there is also a growing community of users with other digital assets,” says Wirex Co-Founder Pavel Matveev. “One of the most popular customer requests was to make a multi-asset-friendly debit card, and with ShapeShift integration we have finally made this possible.”

Rendering banks unnecessary

The ShapeShift team further emphasized that the Wirex multi-cryptocurrency debit card eliminates the necessity of banking services in today’s financial ecosystems and market, as it supports 16 leading cryptocurrencies and various financial services through a single app and a simple user interface.

"Wirex renders banks wholly unnecessary. With cryptocurrency and an easy mobile app, one can avoid banks and still pay for things anywhere,” said ShapeShift Founder and CEO, Erik Voorhees. “We are thrilled to have their services integrated with our API to expand their customer’s funding options.”

The emergence of multi-cryptocurrency debit cards will continue to increase the liquidity of cryptocurrencies, which will ultimately increase the market value and demand of digital currencies and app coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero.