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Coinbase Becomes Visa Principal Member

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US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has become the first pure-play crypto company to be approved as a Visa principal member. This membership will enable Coinbase to issue Visa debit cards directly without depending on third-party issuers.

This move comes about ten months after Coinbase teamed up with Visa to launch the Coinbase Card, a Visa debit card that lets customers spend their crypto balances direct from their Coinbase account. It is currently available in the U.K. and some other European countries such as Italy, Spain and France.

The cards were initially being issued by a third party, Paysafe Financial Services Limited, which is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority. Coinbase is the first debit card to link directly with a major cryptocurrency exchange in the UK and EU.

The Coinbase card, which can be used globally, is currently allowed only to be used in countries where the card is supported. It is available to customers in 29 markets who are able to spend 10 cryptocurrencies in millions of merchant locations.

The card can be used as easily as a debit card is used to spend money in their bank account.

The cryptocurrencies in your Coinbase account can be spent using the card for funding holidays abroad to trips on public transport, making their crypto work for them in everyday situations. The Card supports all crypto assets that are available to buy and sell on the Coinbase platform.

Coinbase said more than 50 percent of customers who have a Coinbase Card use it regularly, with its maximum usage in the UK, followed closely by Italy, Spain, and France.

When customers use their Coinbase Card, crypto will be instantly converted to fiat currency, such as GBP, which is then used to complete the purchase.

The company has also launched the Coinbase Card app to help customers chose their particular crypto wallets to fund their Coinbase Card spending.

In mid-March last year, banking startup 2gether had announced a similar launch of a prepaid Visa debit card that allows users to spend cryptocurrencies in any of the 19 eurozone countries.

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