Australians will soon be able to spend cryptocurrency at bricks-and-mortar stores across the country using a new physical debit card backed by Visa.
According to the Australian Financial Review, Visa has approved the issuance of a debit card to be linked to the CryptoSpend app, allowing users to spend Bitcoin and other cryptos at their favourite shops and bars nationwide. So even if your crypto isn’t taking you to the moon, it could soon take you out for dinner.
“Spending it directly is a more convenient way of selling it,” CryptoSpend co-founder Andrew Grech told the AFR.
“We have a lot of demand for the card. If the market is green, someone could say it’s time to spend some of my profits. On the other side of the fence, another person might say it’s going to keep going up, I’ll hold onto it. But we have seen more spending volume when the price is going up.”
This will be the first time customers are able to spend cryptocurrency in Australia using a locally issued card that works at most major establishments. Visa has previously issued similar cards overseas for major crypto exchanges like Binance, however, these aren’t available for use in Australia.
According to Visa more that $1 billion has been spent on the company’s crypto cards so far this year.
“For the tens of millions of people using those platforms, one of the simplest ways to spend crypto is through a Visa card,” the company said. “We’re seeing digital wallets and crypto platforms build payment products entirely with digital currency.”
The card is expected to launch in Australia in September and will allow users to spend a variety of coins including Bitcoin Cash (not to be confused with actual Bitcoin, which is also an option) and Ethereum.
However, it’s worth noting that the Federal Reserve Bank is still hesitant about the idea of crypto being used as a means of payment.
According to a recent submission to the Senate inquiry Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre, cryptocurrencies “are rarely used or accepted as a means of payment, they are not used as a unit of account, and their prices can be very volatile, and so they are a poor store of value”.