It’s a No From Visa Regarding Bitcoin Debit Cards in Europe!
Visa is Cracking Down on Cryptocurrency Cards in Europe
Many European retailers that enjoy using cryptocurrencies for their day-to-day purchases were hit by Visa’s lockdown when using their cryptocurrency-funded debit cards.
Following the unexpected crackdown, BitPay, Cryptopay, TenX, and Bitwala had all of their cards suspended through their European provider, WaveCrest, meaning services have been put to a permanent halt, while U.S. users remain unaffected by the crackdown so far.
Users holding cryptocurrencies could fund debit cards by exchanging selected cryptocurrencies into their local fiat currency, which could then be spent directly using the provided debit card.
Visa’s reason for the stance was apparently due to WaveCrest’s “non-compliance” with its operating rules, which led to the membership being revoked on January 5th.
Using Bitcoin as Money Got Harder
Using cryptocurrency as a viable and scalable form of money is one of the greatest challenges every blockchain in the sector faces at the moment. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others all have different solutions for scaling, but to develop the capacity is something that takes time and patience.
Providers such as BitPay filled a growing demand and were a popular way for users to make use of their cryptocurrency. For the time being, European users of cryptocurrencies now need to find alternative methods to convert their funds to fiat so they can make purchases with their cryptocurrency capital.
Despite the setback, cryptocurrency prices remain unaffected, and some of the affected companies are now in talks with alternative European card providers to replace WaveCrest. However, this could be the beginning of a larger crackdown made by authorities and centralized institutions.
Is this crackdown part of a larger operation to regulate the cryptocurrency space? Many say cryptocurrencies are here to make companies like Visa, SWIFT, and central banks obsolete, but the reality is that usability and scaling still need to improve before that can happen.
At least for the short-term, using services provided by BitPay, Cryptopay, and others may help progress in the adoption of digital assets.