To round out the year, we asked our Block Explorer writers to tell us what they’re most excited about for blockchain and crypto in 2019. In this piece, Ana Balashova looks at the startups hoping to take crypto mainstream, as well as the tokenization of assets and next-generation blockchain projects.
This year wasn’t all cuddly and fluffy for crypto. The fearsome bear entered the market and trampled everyone’s dreams of becoming a billionaire in a couple of months. And although crashes aren’t new to crypto, this year things are a bit different: many more people are involved and larger mainstream brands are embracing digital money as payment.
Banks, governments, and regulators are accepting the fact that bitcoin is here to stay. All of that makes me seriously enthusiastic about crypto in 2019. Here’s the list of the things I’ll keep my eye on:
Universal Crypto Solutions
Even though Coinbase has more than 20 million users and Blockchain.com boasts more than 31 million registered wallets, crypto is still far away from mass adoption. And the convenience of using it is still only appreciated by the more techy part of the population.
Real-life example: if my mom would like to purchase bitcoin she always has to ask me to do that. And she is quite capable of using traditional plastic cards or other financial services like money transfer through a mobile app on her phone.
So, there’s still room for improvement in creating those universal solutions, both for consumers and business. One that will work internationally and will allow seamless transactions from crypto to fiat and back. One that boasts a super intuitive interface and straightforward features. That’s why I am quite curious to follow Abra, Blockchain, Purse, Bread, Ethos, EOS Lynx, STK, Metal, PundiX, Request Network, Monetha and all the numerous projects in the field.
Securitization and Legal Clarity
Authorities of various countries are cooking up all sorts of crypto regulatory frameworks. The choice of crypto-friendly countries is growing (Malta? Gibraltar? Finland?) That alone makes the existence and the future perspectives for cryptocurrencies much more compelling.
Even without proper regulations, as much as $22 billion was raised in Initial Coin Offerings in 2018 according to Bloomberg’s numbers.
There are a lot of question marks about those projects. However, the development of the legal side of the story will most likely make a positive impact on the industry. Not to mention the whole new infrastructural solutions that have to be evolved to make it work: properly regulated crypto exchanges, platforms for legal Security Token Offerings, the whole bunch of wallets for securitized assets, etc.
That all adds up to bringing digital currencies from the world of tooth fairies and leprechauns to reality.
Making Blockchain Great Again
In spite of all the awesomeness of distributed ledger technologies, there is always someone to complain. The transactions on Bitcoin blockchain are getting too expensive, or Ethereum got all clogged again because of a popular token sale, Cryptokitties, decentralized exchanges vulnerabilities, and so on.
So all the tools and projects that are supposed to improve what we have so far and to solve all related problems – is something I am personally very interested in.
And, just to clarify, when I mention “problems”, I am talking about things like scalability,interoperability, transaction costs, blockchain developers education, etc. Some of the exciting projects working on these problems are EOS, Aion, Wanchain, Ethereum, POA network, Zilliqa, and others).
Tokenization of Assets
As we know, one of the first applications of blockchain technology was digital money. And the fact that it created so much convenience, transparency, and speed of actual ownership made “tokenization” a viable technology for other assets.
We could see gold -backed tokens (like OneGram, Goldmint, etc.), natural resources backed tokens (e.g. Petro, Venezuela’s controversial cryptocurrency backed by oil), and so much more than that.
With the further development of crypto-related regulations and taxes, more projects tokenizing real estate, pieces of art, rare cars, shares in Silicon Valley startups etc., will pop up.
And the fun has already begun. In October, Forbes announced the first tokenized real estate project in New York, ran by Propellr, the platform for digital assets management and Fluidity, the trading and tokenizing solution.
It’s already possible to purchase a share of ownership of off-campus housing for students at the University of South Carolina. The cost per share is $21,000. Currently, those are being sold by Harbor, the blockchain startup which raised $28 million of venture capital in a fully compliant security token offering earlier this year.
And if you are looking for more affordable ownership options, there’s something interesting offered by Brickblock. The project in development is a 50-unit residential property in the UK. The team is raising £3.35 million by selling tokenized shares valued at £34 per pop.
There are also some moves in the art world. 31.5% ownership of Andy Warhol’s “14 Small Electric Chairs” was recently sold at an auction run by blockchain startup Maecenas this summer. The total value of the sold tokens was $1.7 million with the total estimated worth of the artwork of $5.6 million.
Tokenization of Real Estate on Mars?
I trust that weirder things will find their way to fully compliant blockchain existence. And we might be able to purchase frozen brain cells and other vital organs, square meters and milliseconds in cryogenic cameras, a fraction of space trip tickets (or maybe partial ownership of a cozy industrial loft on Mars), and the list goes on. I can’t wait!
And what are you excited the most?Go ahead and share it in the comment section below.
The Norwegian student who bought 5,000 bitcoins for $26 in 2009. Four years later, he was a millionaire.
Or the early adopter who bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins (worth $70 million at today’s prices).
But what is bitcoin, exactly? How does it work? How do you buy bitcoin? Where should you store it? And is it safe? This guide will take you through it step-by-step (without any confusing jargon).
PART 1: What Is Bitcoin, the Digital Currency? PART 2: What Is Blockchain, the System That Makes It All Work? PART 3: How to Buy, Store, and Spend Bitcoin PART 4: Should I Be Worried about Hacks and Scams? PART 5: What’s Next for Bitcoin?
PART 1: What Is Bitcoin, the Digital Currency?
Before we dive in, you need to know that bitcoin is actually two things:
1. bitcoin (with a small b)
This is the cryptocurrency; digital tokens sent back and forth to one another (or used to buy pizza). When people talk about bitcoin, this is what they’re usually talking about.
2. Bitcoin (with a capital B)
This is the revolutionary network on which the currency runs. It’s also known as the Bitcoin blockchain.
“I do think Bitcoin is the first [encrypted money] that has the potential to do something like change the world.”Peter Thiel, Co-Founder of Paypal
The basic concept of bitcoin is to make payments as easy as sending an email, without a central middleman getting in the way. Here’s how it works:
Bitcoin exists outside the traditional banking system. Anyone with a digital wallet can buy bitcoin and send it to anyone else in the world (so long as they, too, have a wallet). There is no middleman.
No government control
Most currencies around the world are controlled by their respective governments. For example, the US Federal Reserve controls the dollar’s interest rate and supply. Not bitcoin. No single person, bank or government owns the bitcoin system.
This is what we mean when we say bitcoin is ‘decentralized.’ Bitcoin and all its transactions are powered by its users. We’ll explain more in the ‘blockchain’ section below.
Securely locked with cryptography
Every bitcoin transaction is encrypted with public and private key encryption. Here’s a quick video to explain how that works:
You might have heard that bitcoin is anonymous, but that’s not strictly true. Every bitcoin transaction is tagged with your public key address. It’s a long number that looks something like:
Although this transaction doesn’t contain your name, if someone knows your wallet address, they can see the payments you’ve made or received. In other words, it’s pseudonymous.
Bitcoin transactions absolutely cannot be reversed. If you make a payment by accident or send it to the wrong address, it can’t be retrieved. It’s a blessing and a curse. It means payments cannot be altered making it secure against fraud, but if you get it wrong, your money is lost forever.
Bitcoin was created by the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto. His name, however, is a pseudonym. The real creator remains a complete mystery.
In October 2008, Nakamoto published the famous bitcoin white paper on a cryptography mailing list. It outlined the vision and technology for the Bitcoin system:
“A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
In January 2009, he created the first 50 bitcoins in a process called “bitcoin mining.”
Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto?
The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is one of the tech world’s biggest secrets. Countless journalists have tried to reveal his identity by analyzing his writing style, his coding, and various other scattered clues.
He writes in British English, for example, and codes in C++.
Newsweek famously published a front-page splash outing the bitcoin founder as Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto – an elderly Japanese American. Despite his computer-engineering background, it was later revealed that Dorian Nakamoto had never even heard of the cryptocurrency. (He apparently referred to it as ‘Bitcom’ in a later interview!)
More likely theories point to the likes of Nick Szabo and Hal Finney, who were involved in Bitcoin’s development and have been active in the cryptography community for decades. Some have even pointed the finger at Elon Musk. All have denied it.
One thing is for sure, Satoshi Nakamoto is a genius with meticulous attention to privacy and anonymity.
He’s also a billionaire.
By tracking Satoshi’s transactions, we can see that he never sold his original bitcoins (other than a few test transactions). He owns about one million coins. At the time of December’s record prices, he was the 44th richest person in the world, worth over $19 billion.
There Will Only Ever Be 21 Million Bitcoins
One of the most interesting features of bitcoin is that its supply is capped. There will only ever be 21 million coins. Unlike dollars, which are created at will by the Federal Reserve, the creation of bitcoins will steadily diminish until 2140, when it will stop entirely.
There are currently 16.7 million bitcoins out there, which leaves just 4.3 million bitcoins left to be created.
When it was launched in 2009, the first exchange valued one bitcoin at eight-hundredths of a cent.
Flash forward to January 2018, and that price soared to $20,000.
Along the way, bitcoin has experienced some heart-stopping swings in value. Since January 2018, bitcoin has dropped 60%. Bitcoin is much more volatile than traditional investments like bonds or stocks. It’s why many investors are nervous about getting involved.
Why? The simple fact is that bitcoin is brand new. It’s still less than a decade old. Compare that to traditional markets like gold, oil or the stock market. It takes time for a new market to settle and find a stable price.
Bitcoin also goes through ‘hype cycles.’ Every so often, bitcoin attracts mainstream attention (usually when there’s a new technology breakthrough). Excited investors flood in, which pushes the price up. When the excitement dies down, we see big drops in price.
Investing in bitcoin means bracing yourself for big, volatile movements.
Don’t Confuse Bitcoin with ‘Bitcoin Cash’ or ‘Bitcoin Gold’
Bitcoin is altogether separate from other cryptocurrencies you might have heard of, like bitcoin cash (BCH) or bitcoin gold (BTG).
These alternative currencies were created when they split off from bitcoin (known as “forking”). This happened because there was a dispute in the bitcoin community about how to go forward.
When users disagree about the technology or the ethos of a particular coin, they may split off and create a new cryptocurrency using different tech and ideals.
To understand why, we need to know how bitcoin works.
PART 2: What Is Blockchain, the System That Makes Bitcoin Work?
Satoshi’s most impressive feat is not actually bitcoin-the-currency. It’s the system on which it runs: blockchain.
Also known as the Bitcoin protocol, this is what makes bitcoin transactions possible.
What Is Blockchain?
In the simplest possible terms, blockchain is exactly what it sounds like: a chain of blocks.
When you make a transaction with bitcoin, it is bundled into a “block.” That block is processed, verified, and approved before being added to the long chain of blocks that came before it.
That’s the short version. In practice, it’s more complex than that.
Imagine an Excel spreadsheet that everyone in the world can access.
Every bitcoin transaction ever made is written down in this Excel spreadsheet.
Scroll right to the beginning, and you’ll see Satoshi’s very first entry (the ‘genesis block’), preserved forever. You can also see the most recent transactions, logged in real-time, and everything in between.
In simple terms, blockchain is a completely public, transparent way of logging payments and transactions.
This is why you often see blockchain referred to as a ‘digital ledger.’
Of course, it’s not really a spreadsheet; it’s a chain. Every time a bitcoin transaction is made, it’s logged in a 1MB ‘block’ of data. The block is then added to the one that came before it.
(FYI, you can look for transactions on the bitcoin blockchain using our block explorer).
Blockchain Is Not Stored in One Place
No single person or entity owns the blockchain. It exists on a network of millions of computers all at once.
Using the spreadsheet analogy again, it’s almost like a Google doc. With Google docs, anyone can log in and make edits to the same spreadsheet. The changes are public and everyone with access can see (and approve) those changes in real-time.
This is a huge change in the way we do things. In the past, for example, you’d write a spreadsheet in private, then send it to someone via email. The other person would save it to their computer, make their changes in private before sending it back.
Using this old method, there are two different spreadsheets on different servers. One person can claim theirs is the superior document or make fraudulent changes.
Or a hacker can steal one of the documents.
Now think about it in terms of banks. Banks keep their own private spreadsheets and log their own transactions, all stored in one central location. It’s less transparent, not to mention easier to hack.
With blockchain, everything is transparent. Bitcoin transactions are 100% visible, traceable and accountable.
(Note: the Google docs analogy isn’t 100% accurate since the Google document is still stored on Google’s servers. The bitcoin blockchain is not hosted by any one central server. Thousands of copies are stored on servers all around the world, all at once).
What Is Bitcoin Mining?
Bitcoin mining is how we create bitcoins.
It’s also how we keep the blockchain running.
In very simple terms, miners are rewarded in bitcoins for creating the blocks and validating the transactions.
It a self-regulating system. Miners maintain the blockchain. In return, they get bitcoins.
In the past, Satoshi mined the very first block with his reportedly modest home computer. He was rewarded with 50 bitcoins for doing so.
How Exactly Does Bitcoin Mining Work?
Bitcoin miners are responsible for producing the 1MB ‘blocks’ that become part of the blockchain.
To create this block, they must solve a mathematical puzzle. This is not literal. The miner is not solving puzzles on a piece of paper. Instead, their computer is trying to ‘guess’ a pre-set 64-digit number, or “hash.”
The first miner to get ‘less than or equal to’ the hash, mines the block and is rewarded with bitcoin.
The current reward is 12.5 BTC per block.
The Bitcoin Halving
Remember we explained that bitcoin supply is capped at 21 million? That’s because the reward for mining is halved every four years.
The mining reward has been halved twice so far. The reward began at 50 BTC per block. It is now 12.5 BTC.
At this rate, we’ll hit the 21 million supply cap in 2140, after 64 halvings.
PART 3: How to Buy, Store, and Spend Bitcoin
How to Buy Bitcoin
Bitcoin is typically bought and sold on an ‘exchange.’
There are hundreds of bitcoin exchanges out there so it’s important to choose wisely. Many exchanges have been hacked over the years, and investors have lost their money, so do your due diligence to find a reputable exchange in your country.
Among the largest and most reputable exchanges are Coinbase and Gemini in the US. (Others are available and this should not be considered a recommendation).
Can you buy bitcoin anonymously? Yes, some exchanges don’t require ID or proof-of-address. BitMEX is one example where you only need an email address. You can also buy in cash (see below).
Once registered with an exchange, you can link a bank account, or – occasionally for smaller amounts – a credit card or PayPal account.
Now, you can buy bitcoin with USD or your local currency.
Whichever exchange you choose, your bitcoins are stored in a wallet on their platform. We highly recommend you now transfer your bitcoin to a private wallet where you control the encryption keys (this is not as complicated as it sounds, and we’ll look at this in the next section).
How to Buy Bitcoin with Cash
If you’d rather not link your bank account to a bitcoin exchange, you can pay cash. Localbitcoins connects you with local cryptocurrency sellers who accept cash for bitcoin.
To make this transaction, however, you will definitely need a private wallet and address. We’ll look at how to set this up in our next section:
How to Store Bitcoin
You store your bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies in a ‘wallet.’
However, choosing the right wallet is perhaps the most important part of this entire guide.
You’ve probably heard that bitcoin is vulnerable to hacks and thieves. There are countless scare stories of people losing thousands.
But it’s important to know that these hacks are not related to the bitcoin system itself (or blockchain). Instead, the hacks usually target exchanges and poorly-maintained wallets.
Storing bitcoin can be safe and secure, but only if you do it correctly.
As we explained earlier, there are two aspects to storing and transferring bitcoin:
Public key – your wallet address that everyone can see (people need your public key to send you bitcoins)
Private key – a second key that only you have access to. This allows you to unlock the wallet.
When you keep your bitcoins on an exchange (like Coinbase), they hold the private key for you. This is called an ‘online wallet.’ While they are convenient and user-friendly, they are less secure.
Why? Because if the private key is on their servers, it can be stolen by hackers, who are more likely to target a large exchange.
So it’s important to make sure you hold the private key. That means moving your bitcoin off the exchange and into a private wallet.
Hardware Wallets (Cold Storage)
Hardware wallets are your most secure option. Think of them like an external hard drive or USB stick for bitcoin. For the vast majority of time they are offline, so cannot be hacked (except for the short periods when you connect to transfer bitcoin). This is known as “cold storage.”
With a desktop wallet, your private key is stored as a file on your computer.
The main advantage here is that you control the private key. They are usually free and easy-to-use, too.
However, your bitcoins are lost forever if your computer is lost, stolen or destroyed (unless you backed them up elsewhere). A hacker can also access your computer and take them.
In the past, using a desktop wallet meant downloading the entire bitcoin blockchain. Nowadays, light wallets are available which makes it a little easier. Some of the most popular wallets include Exodus and Electrum.
A paper wallet is simply a piece of paper with your private and public key written on them.
They are incredibly secure since they are never connected to the internet. You cannot hack a piece of paper.
However, you can lose a piece of paper very easily. So make sure you keep it somewhere safe.
Just don’t be this guy who showed his paper wallet to everyone watching Bloomberg TV. Within seconds, his account was empty (although the culprit offered to give it back after proving their point).
‘Cold’ Software Storage
Some electronic and software wallets now facilitate offline or ‘cold’ storage options. This is a best-of-both-worlds option. Like electric wallets, they are easy to use, but they are also stored offline for additional security. Electrum, mentioned previously, offers this functionality.
lastly, you can choose a mobile wallet. These are handy if you plan to store small amounts of bitcoin and spend them from time-to-time. Some are designed with spending in mind, such as Samourai for Android and Edge for iPhone.
None of the wallets mentioned here should be considered recommendations and many other options are out there. Do you own research and due diligence before using any of the services listed here.
Where Can I Spend Bitcoin?
The number of shops and businesses accepting bitcoin is increasing rapidly. Here are just some of the things you can buy with bitcoin:
Again, however, this reaffirms the importance of storing bitcoins safely in a hard wallet and not on an exchange.
Bitcoin has also been connected to numerous scams and Ponzi schemes.
Fake exchanges, fakes bitcoins, and fake crowdfunding campaigns (known as ICOs – initial coin offerings) are still out there.
Until bitcoin exchanges are regulated by government authorities, more will pop up. Here are some of the worst offenders to look out for:
1. Scam wallets – these are the most common scams. They’ll look like a legitimate online wallet, but you’ll know they’re nefarious because they ask how much you’re depositing. They’ll set up an address for you, but it will link to their wallets, not yours
2. Dodgy miners – these scammers claim to mine bitcoin for you. You pay them money and never see it again.
3. Exchange scams – these exchanges look like legitimate bitcoin exchange websites. The giveaway is that they accept credit card payments for large amounts of crypto, or offer better-than-usual exchange rates.
The best way to avoid these dodgy schemes is to do your due diligence. Research every exchange before you sign up. Make sure they are trusted and make sure you are on the correct website.
Ignore anything that seems too good to be true. It probably is.
PART 5: The Future of Bitcoin
Although bitcoin is less than a decade old, we are just at the beginning.
Bitcoin, and its revolutionary blockchain technology, has opened the floodgates.
There are now almost 2,000 cryptocurrencies out there. Some aim to compete directly with bitcoin. Others are expanding on the idea and branching out into new territories (see ethereum).
Bitcoin itself is constantly evolving.
Right now, its biggest hurdle is scalability. Without getting too technical, Bitcoin is slow compared to many of its peers.
Bitcoin can currently handle seven transactions per second. Compare that to Visa which handles 24,000.
It also takes ten minutes to confirm a bitcoin transaction. At peak times, like during the ‘gold rush’ in December 2017, it takes days to process bitcoin payments.
If bitcoin aims to become a day-to-day cash system, it needs to be faster.
However, there’s a huge disagreement in the community about how to do this. In fact, this is why bitcoin cash ‘forked’ (but that’s a whole other story. Read about bitcoin cash here.)
Bitcoin developers are now working on the Lightning Network, which will help settle small amounts fast on the bitcoin blockchain.
Is Bitcoin the Future of Money?
It’s perhaps too early to call bitcoin the future. It has some big hurdles to overcome including speed, reputation, and mainstream adoption.
One thing’s for sure, however. Bitcoin triggered a revolution. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are here to stay. Countries like Venezuela and Iran are even copying the idea by creating their own national cryptocurrencies.
As for blockchain, a huge 84% of companies are now experimenting with the technology.
The future of money might not be bitcoin, but it will be cryptocurrency. Get ready for it.
With a cryptocurrency debit card, you can now walk into a store, cafe or restaurant and pay with bitcoin. It’s yet another step towards wider crypto adoption, but where should you start? Alan Wass looks at the five best crypto cards in 2018.
The rise in cryptocurrency debit cards is a true reflection of how far the crypto industry has traveled in a very short space of time. It seems like only yesterday when we had to jump through hoops just to buy bitcoin. Times have changed!
What’s a Crypto Card?
A cryptocurrency debit card allows you to spend bitcoin (or other digital currencies) as easily as you’d pay with fiat currency.
A bitcoin debit card makes the exchange from crypto to fiat for you. So you can use it at shops, ATMs and online, even if the vendor doesn’t directly accept bitcoin.
Bitcoin debit cards will help attract more mainstream consumers to crypto and bolster confidence in day-to-day blockchain technologies. If we’re to expand crypto adoption, it’s important the industry offers similar features you would find in traditional financial markets.
But before you choose the best cryptocurrency debit cards, you need to figure out which type of card suits your needs and lifestyle in the crypto-sphere.
Which Type of Cryptocurrency Debit Cards Suits You?
For example, do you want a physical crypto debit card or a virtual card? Or both? You can also opt for a pre-paid or non-pre-paid card.
Physical crypto debit card – A plastic card you keep in your wallet, just like your normal credit card (may come with an up-front fee).
Virtual debit card – Usually cheaper than a physical card and ideal for use online. A virtual card can’t be used to withdraw cash from an ATM, but may utilize an app, so you can still make payments at stores and restaurants.
Pre-paid cards – Allows you to load your cryptocurrency onto it, which will then automatically convert your crypto into fiat currencies and vice versa. Just make sure you fully understand the choices of fiat currencies available on your chosen pre-paid card because they can vary from card to card.
Non-pre-paid debit cards – These are usually linked to your online crypto wallet, which converts your bitcoin into fiat instantaneously when you make a purchase.
Cryptocurrency debit cards don’t come for free as there are usually some startup fees involved when obtaining a physical card. Prices can vary but don’t be surprised if you have to pay $50 (USD) upfront or more in some cases to initially buy the card. There may also be loading fees when you send your crypto to the card. This could be in the form of a percentage or a flat fee, so be sure to check out the type of loading fees for your chosen cryptocurrency debit cards.
Caution: always do your own due diligence when trusting a credit or debit card company. Read reviews, check which wallets are compatible, read the company’s internal policies and check out the team behind the card. The following should not be considered a recommendation, but an introduction to the most popular cards on the market.
Top Five Cryptocurrency Debit Cards
Here is our list of the top cryptocurrency debit cards in 2018 so you can compare the features, costs and loading fees.
As Coinbase has already cemented itself as an industry-leading crypto exchange, it only makes sense that a debit card from the company would be a very trusted and reliable option.
It’s also the only card on this list available to those living in the US, due to financial regulations.
If you’re an existing Coinbase user, it’s easy. You just connect your Coinbase wallet with the Shift card.
The Coinbase ‘Shift Card’ is one of the world’s most backed cryptocurrency debit cards available across 43 states in America. With regulatory approval, this card is extremely trustworthy, allowing you to spend your bitcoin at any establishment that accepts Visa.
Although there are no monthly costs using the Coinbase Shift Card, there is an initial issuance fee of $20. There is also a flat fee of $2.50 when withdrawing at the ATM.
The best part about using this option is that payments made via the card are taken from the crypto wallet that is tethered to the Shift Card, which means you receive no fees when converting from bitcoin to fiat.
This high quality pre-paid physical credit card is ideal if you are looking to convert your crypto into either USD or euros. If you want the plastic USD card from SpectroCoin, it will cost in the region of $50, although the virtual card for the euro costs only €9.
The card offers affordable loading fees of 1% and further charges on any purchase you make with the card. And although there are some cheaper card options out there, you can use the SpectroCoin card at any ATM around the world, which is a massive positive for the modern crypto user of today.
If you are looking for a company that offers both physical and virtual cryptocurrency debit cards, Wirex is an inspired choice. One plus-factor is that the card is currently available for free delivery for a limited time.
The Wirex Visa Payment Card allows you to spend your crypto just like traditional money. You can instantly convert your crypto such as bitcoin, ripple, ethereum, and litecoin and use it anywhere that Visa is accepted such as in shops, restaurants, online and at ATMs. Wirex also offers a cashback feature called Cryptoback™, which gives you back 0.5% in bitcoin on every purchase you make.
As most cryptocurrency debit cards only convert bitcoin or just a small handful of other digital currencies, if you are looking for more altcoin conversion options, the Uquid crypto card is a dream come true. Uquid has debit card options for 90 cryptocurrencies, which really is unique and a way to simplify the spending of your altcoin portfolio.
Another massive positive is that Uquid has no loading fees with your crypto. One of the major drawbacks of this card is that you are limited to only four ATM withdrawals and six crypto purchases per day (unless you upgrade by providing more personal information).
CryptoPay is a pre-paid bitcoin debit card that offers low commission fees, free worldwide delivery, and can be used where major credit cards are accepted. Both physical and virtual prepaid cards are available, although you will have to give your full identification to take advantage of all the card’s main features. Failure to provide ID will only give you limited access of the card features.
The card is available to buy at this moment in time for 15 USD/EUR/GBP respectively. There are affordable monthly fees of $1, and a 1% charge when you convert your bitcoin.
Ultimately we want to spend our digital currencies as easily as we spend our traditional cash. Cryptocurrency debit cards are the first step towards wider adoption, and it’s an exciting time to be part of this monetary revolution.
This article was updated on October 11th to include information about eligible countries.
Many years ago when I first stumbled across bitcoin, I’ll admit, I didn’t understand it. I remember reading explanations that looked like this: “Bitcoin is a decentralized, peer-to-peer, cryptographic currency, built on an immutable digital ledger called a blockchain…” I zoned out. It took me another year before I put in the time to learn how the technology worked.
And then it clicked.
This thing is revolutionary. Not just bitcoin the cryptocurrency, but the whole ecosystem that makes it work. It could change everything.
The only problem is finding simple, clear information about it. There’s so much misinformation out there. Some of it is biased. Most of it is too technical or confusing to get your head around.