Business

Erik Gibbs

A new crypto debit card makes its debut in Europe

Residents of the European Union (EU) have a new option for spending their cryptocurrency holdings. An online crypto exchange called Jubiter has announced the introduction of a crypto-based debit card that can reportedly be used anywhere in the world. While other companies have tried to offer the cards and have failed, there have been a small handful that have survived. Perhaps Jubiter will be one of those.

The cards will only support Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC) at first. They work similarly to other cards, converting crypto to fiat—in this case, only Euros—to make the purchase. Jubiter asserts that the cards are able to be used online or offline at any retailer that accepts prepaid debit cards.

Signing up is relatively straightforward. Provided someone is in the EU, or the European Economic Area (Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland), he or she can register for an account on the website, deposit funds to the newly-created online wallet and request the debit card.

The card also includes several security features, according to Jubiter. Transaction histories can be viewed through the website and a live activity feed is available. Lost or stolen cards can be blocked immediately through the website, as well.

The fees are relatively low. There is a monthly maintenance fee of €1.80 (about $2) and a reload fee of €1.00 ($1.12). For ATM withdrawals, ATM machines charge different fees and Jubiter tacks on a commission of between €0.25 to €2.50 ($0.28 to $2.80). International currency conversions carry a commission of 3%.

According to the Jubiter website, the cards are now available to those living in U.K., Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It adds that it hopes to offer the cards in countries around the world in the future.

While being able to shop directly with crypto would be ideal, debit cards that can convert crypto holdings to fiat are the next best thing until adoption reaches a greater level. Unfortunately, companies like Visa and MasterCard have continuously rejected branded cards, mostly out of fear of losing their control of the market. However, both are losing ground due to their own internal shortcomings and are going to have to think outside the box if they want to stay afloat.

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