A new Bitcoin debit card has been introduced to the U.S. The fully functional Shift card costs US$10 to order and users can spend US$1,000 a day on purchases with preloaded Bitcoin. Now Americans can enjoy a card that’s tethered to their Coinbase account and spend Bitcoin on the go.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com is not associated with Shift and is not responsible for its products and/or services.
“Whether your currency is new or old shouldn’t matter. Bitcoin is now accepted online and offline at over 38 million merchants worldwide. Case closed.”
— Shift Card Website
Shift has launched a cryptocurrency debit card that behaves just like a regular Visa debit card and is connected to a user’s Coinbase account. The service also comes with a mobile app that shows your transactions as you use the card at any place that accepts credit and debit cards. The app has a simple app to preload and activate the card with Bitcoin is supposed to be easy, and the service also has chargeback protection.
People in the United States can order the card today though it has restrictions in California and is not available in the State of New York. Shift wants to provide users in the U.S. with a service that allows people to spend their cryptocurrency at any merchant and institution. While companies like E-coin and Xapo offer bitcoin-based debit cards, their services do not cover users in the United States. Shift states on their website:
“The Shift Card works like any debit card today. Connect your existing accounts and spend Coinbase or Dwolla, immediately and directly, everywhere VISA is accepted.”
The company offers strong password protection, “OAuth tokens and bank level AES-256 encryption” on their servers. They also claim employee access to information is “heavily restricted,” while implementing secure SSL encryption on their website. In addition to these measures, the company says that “Shift does not save or store your Social Security Number, Date of Birth or Home Address to disk.”
The Y Combinator startup began working on a functional prototype in 2013 and announced integration with Coinbase last year. Shift was founded by Meg Nakamura, Eugene Otto, and Greg Kidd; the group wanted to bring digital currencies to the offline world of everyday merchants and has been largely funded by the founders of HardYakafund.
Many U.S. based Bitcoin enthusiasts will be pleased to use a new debit card, as there are some, but there has not been an abundance of choices. The ability to be able to spend bitcoins at your favorite grocery store, movie theater or gas station may drive adoption higher in the U.S. The card has a flat cost of US$10, ATM use is US$2.50, and international transactions incur a 3% fee. The Shift app can be downloaded from the Google Play store and Apple’s App store.
Would you use Shift’s new Bitcoin card? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shifts Website and Redmemes