Coinbase has become the first cryptocurrency company to be granted principal membership by credit card giant Visa.
The principal membership status builds on the launch of Coinbase Card in the UK in late 2019, a Visa debit card that allows customers to spend their crypto as easily as the money in their bank account. The card is now available to customers in 29 markets and gives access to ten cryptocurrencies in millions of merchant locations.
Becoming a principal member cuts out a crucial and expensive middleman from the process of issuing a debit card. It also allows Coinbase the power to issue debit cards for others, if they so choose to.
The deal was struck in November, however was not revealed until February of this year. Visa has clarified that the company itself won’t actually be accepting cryptocurrencies, therefore this aspect of the deal will be handled by Coinbase directly.
Bitcoin has until now not been an instant transaction process, instead there has always been an intermediary step consumers had to go through in order to purchase something. The new Coinbase card is a potential solution to this problem and another milestone in the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies in general.