- As of Wednesday, the Coinbase Card will be available in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.
- The card allows users with Coinbase accounts to spend cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin in stores and online at any merchant that accepts Visa.
- Start-ups, banks and tech companies are trying to make crypto payments and trading more accessible.
Digital currency exchange Coinbase announced Wednesday its Visa debit card is to launch in six more European countries after debuting in the U.K. in April.
Coinbase U.K. CEO Zeeshan Feroz told CNBC in an interview the goal of the card is to make payments with digital currencies as seamless as paying with cash.
“You can buy groceries on bitcoin and then coffee on litecoin right after,” he said.
As of Wednesday, the “Coinbase Card” will be available in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands. Feroz said the card has seen “extremely strong take-up” since it launched in the U.K. in mid-April. He did not disclose specific figures but said the company “blew past” the initial 1,000 cards it offered users for free.
The card comes in a mobile app and syncs directly with Coinbase accounts. It is also available as a physical contactless card that can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs.
Users can decide which cryptocurrency they would like to use to make a payment in the mobile app. Rather than paying retailers directly with crypto, Coinbase charges users a fee to convert fiat money, like the euro, into a digital currency.
Start-ups, banks and tech companies are increasingly trying to make crypto payments and trading more accessible. Coinbase rival Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, partnered with fintech firm Simplex to offer debit and credit card payments with crypto earlier this year.
Fintech start-ups like Revolut in the U.K. and Square in the U.S. already offer crypto trading on their platforms, while Facebook will reportedly launch its own cryptocurrency later this month.
California-headquartered Coinbase was most recently valued at $8 billion, according to CB Insights. The company is viewed by some in Silicon Valley as a poster child for the volatile cryptocurrency market. Amid a slump in prices for digital currencies earlier this year, Coinbase reportedly laid off more than a dozen workers in its Chicago office.
Feroz said Coinbase hopes to expand the card into other markets but needs to find the right banking partners.
“We will be looking at all of our key markets including the U.S.,” he said.