Coinbase, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is furthering the normalization of cryptocurrencies by offering a new cryptocurrency giftcard that can be used at more at than 120 popular retailers.
This new development in the cryptocurrency frontier offers a solution to one of the major criticisms of cryptocurrencies: that they are not a viable medium of exchange.
By offering a means for cryptocurrency holders to use the value of their holdings in direct purchases, the new Coinbase giftcard is moving cryptocurrencies as a whole further into the mainstream.
This makes it more likely for further individuals and organizations will start using cryptocurrencies for investing and exchange.
Coinbase and WeGift
Coinbase has teamed up with giftcard startup WeGift to offer a generous giftcard program for its European users.
In addition, users get a 1% to 9% bonus on the value transacted depending on certain terms of the deal.
Coinbase has also waived any of the fees that would normally be associated with a withdrawal of funds to support this exciting new venture.
Over 120 Retailers in Europe and Australia
These new cryptocurrency giftcards from Coinbase and WeGift can be used at more than 120 major retailers, including such important names as Uber, Nike, GooglePlay and Ticketmaster.
The countries where these cryptocurrency giftcards can be used are limited to the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Australia and the Netherlands, but Coinbase states that it intends to offer this feature in most countries around the globe soon.
There are also plans to add additional retailers to this already impressive list, though no major names have been mentioned as of yet.
Cryptocurrency Giftcards and the Future of Cryptocurrencies
While the announcement of these new cryptocurrency giftcards is exciting enough news in itself, what they signify for the future of cryptocurrencies as a whole is far more interesting.
One of the major complaints leveled at cryptocurrencies is that they are not true ‘currencies’ at all, as they cannot be used to exchange for goods and services in most everyday venues.
While the pickup from retailers and other businesses to offer consumers a means of transacting with their cryptocurrencies has been slow, the cryptocurrency giftcard skirts the issue of business adoption by offering the users a means of converting their cryptocurrency at no cost on their end.
Instead of facing the steep fees and wait times involved in converting cryptocurrencies to cash, they can now be instantly converted to a giftcard for free.
This means that Coinbase and other cryptocurrency exchanges could soon issue universally-accepted debit cards that allow users to spend the value in their cryptocurrency accounts anywhere at anytime, and have the value instantly converted for no fee or only a small nominal charge.
If these cryptocurrency giftcards represent the first step in the universal use of cryptocurrencies in consumer spending, this will dramatically transform the cryptocurrency landscape, and will undoubtedly lead to another sharp increase in cryptocurrency prices.