One of the biggest setbacks for widescale adoption of cryptocurrencies as an exchange medium is the lack of usability according to cryptocurrency advocates.
To help combat this there are crypto-based debit cards that convert cryptocoins to fiat currencies. Users upload a selected balance of cryptocoins from their cryptocurrency wallets that is then converted into fiat currencies and are ready for use.
The cards are extremely popular because they allow cryptocurrency account holders to use their accounts to make simple purchases just like a regular debit card.
However, thousands of European cryptocurrency debit card users were left in the lurch when Visa suddenly discontinued their services to cryptocurrency debit card issuer WaveCrest earlier this month.
The announcement that Visa would stop servicing the cards came suddenly and most users had no idea it had happened until they tried to use their cards.
There are concerns about increased regulation which is why some speculate that Visa terminated the relationship. However, there are other crypto debit card providers whose service has not been not discontinued.
There is also speculation that the reason Visa cancelled the cards was because they felt threatened. However, with Visa’s volume of payments processed at over 100 billion transactions per year, most argue that Bitcoin’s annual average of 130 million does not compare.
Others attempted to cast the move by Visa as repression of the small upstart by the large corporation due to greed or other nefarious motives.
The most likely reason that WaveCrest was pulled is because of the company’s own actions. Visa said that WaveCrest violated Visa’s operating regulations.
Visa stated, "We can confirm that Visa's partnership with WaveCrest has been terminated due to continued failure to comply with our operating rules. As a result, all WaveCrest Visa card programs will be finalized.”
Despite the tumult caused by Visa cancelling WaveCrest’s service, several of WaveCrest’s customers are not overly concerned about the future of cryptocurrency debit card usage. In its statement Visa came out and explicitly stated that there are other cards that are not affected.
“Visa has other approved cryptomanced card programs converted into trust funds in various jurisdictions,” the company said. “The termination of the Visa and WaveCrest partnership does not affect any of these other products".
Stay up-to-date with the latest commentary and insights on FreightTech and the impact to the markets by subscribing.