The cards will support payments through Bitcoin by allowing the use of the card without preloading a fiat currency and can be used at any time in what the company describes as a “frictionless” experience.
The new card offering compares to the majority of existing debit cards offered by Bitcoin exchanges that require the user to first sell their Bitcoin into fiat currencies before being able to make a withdrawal; by comparison the new card allows users to hold Bitcoin only and only convert the amount at the point of sale needed to fund a purchase.
It’s not entirely clear which international ATM network the new card will work with, but the company says that customers will be able to use the Blade cards for purchases with online merchants, brick and mortar stores, as well as to withdraw cash at millions of ATMs around the world.
“We are very happy to be providing our users with access to their bitcoin at any time via Blade’s industry-leading debit cards,” Bitfinex Director of Community & Product Development Zane Tackett said in a statement sent to SiliconANGLE. “We see the ability to withdraw directly from one’s Bitfinex account using traditional ATMs around the world as a major benefit for our users.”
The deal between Bitfinex and Blade isn’t the first Bitcoin-based debit card on the market, but it is one of the few that simplify the withdrawal for use of fiat currencies at the point of sale, and that makes it immediately a solid offering.
Bitfinex is also one of the new wave of Bitcoin exchanges that have pursued the regulatory path to give customers more assurance that it isn’t a fly-by-night operation that may disappear tomorrow, although as we reported back in August they were one of many Bitcoin companies who rejected the New York Bitlicense along with the likes of Kraken due to the complexity and some may say stupidity of what that license imposed of those trying to sign up to it.
The new card will be made available to select Bitfinex customers based in Europe and Asia in the coming months via order directly from the Bitfinex website.
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Duncan is a co-founder of VC funded media company B5Media and founder of news site The Inquisitr, and was a senior writer at TechCrunch in its earlier days.
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