Coinbase Approved For Principal Visa Membership

Coinbase Approved For Principal Visa Membership

The Silicon Valley cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has become the first pure-play crypto startup to earn approval as a Visa principal member, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday (Feb. 19).

Membership in Visa gives Coinbase the ability to offer the Coinbase Card, which enables its customers to spend cryptocurrency as easily as using cash from their bank account.

“We are proud to be the first company in the crypto ecosystem to be granted Visa principal membership. This membership will enable us to offer more features for Coinbase Card customers, from additional services to support in more markets – all elements that will help to evolve and enrich the cryptocurrency payment experience,” the post said.

Coinbase has been working with Visa since 2019, when it launched its Coinbase Card in the U.K. The debit card allows users to spend cryptocurrency as cash anywhere Visa is accepted. The card has since been made available in 29 markets with 10 cryptocurrencies supported.

More than 50 percent of Coinbase Card customers use the card regularly. Usage is highest in the U.K., followed closely by Italy, Spain and France.

Coinbase said in the post that this is a “significant milestone in the mainstream adoption of crypto as a genuine utility. We will continue to build on this relationship with further initiatives that make interacting with crypto as seamless as possible for our customers.”

Coinbase previously supported the Shift crypto card, which drew funds from the user’s exchange balance. Shift suffered when WaveCrest’s Visa license was revoked in early 2018. Shift shuttered in early 2019.

The company debuted the card in the U.K. April. At the time, Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase U.K., said the Coinbase Card is funded by customers’ Coinbase crypto account balances, giving them the ability to pay in-store and online with bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other digital tokens. When customers use the Coinbase Card, the crypto is instantly converted into fiat currency, such as the pound.