America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, recently announced the commencement of their gift card services for their customers. Users of the crypto wallet will enjoy the benefits of making payments to leading global retailers with the crypto coins.
The venture was embarked on after Coinbase merged its wallet services with a UK- based online gift-card startup, WeGift. The merger will enable Coinbase users to purchase gift cards with the digital currency in their wallets, which in turn can be used to buy goods from over 120 retailers with WeGift as one of their payment options. The retailers include M&S, Nike, Tesco, Google Play, Uber, Carrefour, etc.
The service is available only in some countries of the EU including Spain, Netherlands, UK, France, and Italy along with Australia. The gift card service is expected to enter other markets (read countries) in over a period of three months.
Coinbase confirmed the development by saying, “Starting today, Coinbase customers in the EU and Australia are able to instantly spend their cryptocurrency balances on e-gift cards, making us the first trading platform to offer direct withdrawals into e-gift cards.”
However, this is not the first time that Coinbase has entered the gift card market. Like many other crypto related firms on the block, it tried to incorporate the crypto gift card payment option back in 2013, when it partnered with eGifter, a New York-based company.
The action has been taken months after the digital exchange obtained the e-money license authorised by Financial Conduct Authority which gave them the permission to issue digital cash alternatives and provide payment services.
The alternative of payment through cryptocurrency is receiving positive feedback from different sectors from around the world. Although Expedia removed their Bitcoin payment option last month, there is a beam of optimism as the Freedom of Press Foundation reported a donation of 1000 Ethereum, valued at around $469,000, after it integrated crypto payment options.