Coinbase and The Shift Card
San Francisco-based bitcoin wallet and exchange company Coinbase has just unveiled the Shift Card, which acts as the first U.S.-issued Bitcoin debit card. The Visa-branded debit card will allow Coinbase users to spend Bitcoin at physical points of sale at over 38 million merchants around the world.
In an announcement, Coinbase says “Thanks to Shift Payments, it’s now possible to use bitcoin to buy gas, groceries, and much more. With the Shift Card, you can now spend bitcoin anywhere in the world that Visa is accepted.”
Availability and Function.
The Shift Card will be available to Coinbase users in the United States, and can be ordered for $10 along with a link to a Coinbase wallet. The card is currently only available in 24 states, though the team is reportedly working through legal and regulatory obstacles in states like New York and Florida. Purchases are based on the current price of Bitcoin on Coinbase and are debited to the user’s Coinbase wallet. Certain transactions will prompt Shift to debit more than the purchase amount while refunding the remainder once the final payment amount has been settled.
“We want to make it easy to buy and sell bitcoin, and we want to make it easy to spend. A mainstream debit card based on bitcoin is a key element,” says Coinbase Vice President of Business Development and Strategy Adam White.