Whether you like Coinbase or not, there’s no denying that the prominent crypto company has been putting its nose to the grindstone in this Bitcoin bear market. Over the course of 2018 and 2019 so far, the San Francisco-headquartered startup has added features, support for digital assets, and employees like there’s no tomorrow.
And most recently, on Wednesday, the $8 billion startup revealed that it will be launching Coinbase Card. And believe us, it is not a shameless copycat of Apple Card. Instead, it could be something that could be used to drive mass adoption.
Meet Coinbase Card, A Crypto Card That (Actually) Works
Crypto debit cards have long had a spotty reputation in this embryonic industry. Companies that have tried their hand at launching such products have, by and large, failed miserably, falling victim to either trigger-happy regulations or the, let’s say, oppressive power of the entities residing over traditional payment rails. The Coinbase Card, however, seems to be entirely within the law.
Starting soon, Coinbase will be offering its clients based in the U.K. (European Union nations to soon follow) a chance to use the Visa debit card, which, as described by Coinbase U.K. CEO Zeeshan Feroz, gives users a chance to spend their cryptocurrencies “as effortlessly as the money in their bank.”
The payment mechanism will allow customers to purchase goods in-store and online and withdraw cash from ATMs with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, among the other popular digital assets supported by Coinbase in the region. As Feroz writes:
“Customers can use their card in millions of locations around the world, making payments through contactless, Chip and PIN, as well as cash withdrawals from ATMs. When customers use their Coinbase Card, we instantly convert crypto to fiat currency, such as GBP, which is used to complete the purchase.”
Interestingly, Coinbase Card won’t be run directly off the Coinbase.com interface or the traditional app from the company. Instead, there will be an independent application, “which enables customers to select which of their crypto wallets they will use to fund their spending.”
For the first 1,000 customers, the company said it will waive the £4.95 ($6.50) card issuance fee.
While it isn’t clear how much interest Coinbase has seen for Card just yet, it is likely that this newfangled card may actually entice consumers to use cryptocurrencies in the real-world, and as a means of payment no less.
Coinbase Sees Stellar Bear Market Growth
Coinbase’s strategy to go balls to the wall, so to speak, by trying to find products that stick (just look to the exchange’s incessant thirst to add support for more cryptocurrencies) has turned out to be a resounding success.
According to recent ‘statistics’ posted by Airbnb developer turned Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong, his firm’s consumer-centric offerings have seen absolutely stellar growth amid the so-called “crypto winter.”
The charts, which he claimed were unaudited, showed that weekly confirmed transactions on Commerce, the startup’s crypto-to-fiat payment portal, users on Earn, a cryptocurrency rewards and education platform, and Wallet have grown a hefty amount in the past months.
The trading platform itself might have seen an uptick, too. The Block reports that Paul Bauerschmidt, product manager for Coinbase Markets, has unveiled that his company will be building out its new matching engine to prepare for the “next super major run-up.”
The statistics and nitty-gritty of the firm’s insides were, of course, redacted in The Block interview and Armstrong’s tweet. But, as seen above, Coinbase’s user base has been on a slow, steady grind higher, even in the depths of the crypto market.
As Armstrong quipped: “It’s not just us either – whole industry seems to be growing nicely. If this is winter, let’s hope it lasts!” Of course, no one is all too sure whether this downturn in the Bitcoin price will continue, but Coinbase sure isn’t hurting.