Alex Morris

10 Best Bitcoin Debit Cards in 2019

This old-meets-new innovation is streamlining the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. Learn what Bitcoin debit card you might want to pick in 2019
10 Best Bitcoin Debit Cards in 2019
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There is a real cryptocurrency conundrum when it comes to Bitcoin adoption given that many people hold Bitcoin without actually spending it. However, Bitcoin debit cards are poised to be a game-changer that will bridge the two rivaling industries to alleviate the task of making crypto payments. Hence, U.Today presents our ten picks for the best Bitcoin debit cards.      

Wirex

Wirex is a London-based cryptocurrency-oriented company with offices around the globe. The startup, which appeared on the market back in 2014, has a cryptocurrency debit card among its most significant offers.   

The Visa-powered debit card supports multiple major altcoins apart from Bitcoin. On Jan. 10, Wirex also added WAVES to the list of digital assets that can be seamlessly converted to fiat money.

Wirex Visa Debit Card

The available fiat currencies include:

  • USD

  • EUR

  • GBP

Wirex is certainly a top-of-mind option for anyone who wants to spend their digital assets anywhere in the world where VISA cards are accepted. Those who complete their identity verification can spend up to $10,000 per day without any additional limits being imposed.

Wirex users have to shell out a 1 percent monthly maintenance fee. The startup is focused on the European market, but Wirex announced its plans about its expansion into the US and Asia in the future.

BitPay

US residents can opt for another established industry player — BitPay. BitPay is one of the most popular cryptocurrency payment providers in the world that now has more than 10,000 merchants onboard (the lion’s share of them come from North America). The company’s debit card is available nationwide, which also gives it an edge over competitors who struggle with regulations in separate states.

After initially starting with BTC, BitPay announced its support for BCH in March 2018. So far, BTC and BCH remain the only cryptocurrencies that can be used for topping up your bank account. Notably, cryptocurrency balances on the BitPay card remain in US dollars, which may serve as a hedging mechanism in the mercurial industry.   

BitPay Visa Debit Card

The card costs $9.95 (it takes about a week to be delivered), but keep in mind that there is no maintenance fee and no transaction fee. US residents have to pay a 2 percent commission for ATM withdrawals (3 percent for withdrawing funds outside of the US).

Cryptopay

Just like Wirex, Cryptopay is yet another London-based startup that is designed for European customers. As of now, Cryptopay is also in talks to bring its payment service to Singapore.   

The startup allows you to order a plastic card that will arrive in three to eight weeks or get a virtual card. The latter only costs $2.50 in stark contrast to the $15.00 you will have to fork out in order to buy the plastic card.

Cryptopay Debit Card in Euro

Cryptopay issues plastic prepaid cards in EUR, GBP, USD, and RUB. It supports four digital assets.

A wider range of available currencies comes at a price. Unlike Bitpay, Cryptopay has a $1 maintenance fee, and the ATM fee is also a tad costlier — $2.50 for domestic transactions and $3.50 for international ones.

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Shift

Shift is a debit card for US customers that was rolled out by San Francisco-based cryptocurrency giant Coinbase to give the exchange’s users the possibility to easily spend Bitcoin. After depositing your Bitcoin, the debit card will be linked to your Coinbase wallet. Hence, the card balance will be denominated in BTC. Shift will record the spot Bitcoin price on the exchange when you make a transaction).

Shift Visa Debit Card

With the Shift Bitcoin debit card, the hefty $20 insurance fee might be disappointing, but it’s only a one-time payment, and Shift eliminates exchange fees and transaction fees. Although, ATM withdrawals are pricey – it offers the same rates as Cryptopay (a flat $2.5 withdrawal fee for US customers and a $3.5 fee for those who want to cash out Bitcoin abroad).   

NB! Keep in mind that the card is not available in all US states (you can check the whole list here).

Revolut Metal (when money is not an issue)  

This is an exclusive offer from the European banking startup Revolut. The elegant metal cryptocurrency debit card with 1 percent cashback will set you back £12.99 per month or £120 per year, but it comes with numerous advantages. However, those who withdraw less than £600 in a month are not supposed to pay any fees.    

Revolut Mastercard Debit Card

The state-of-the-art card supports Bitcoin and other five major cryptocurrencies that can be converted into more than 150 fiat currencies. Moreover, as U.Today reported earlier, Revolut customers will get access to such services for free:  

  • Travel insurance

  • Concierge that will make a reservation for you

  • LoungeKey pass

Uquid

Uquid definitely stands out from the pack since it offers more than 75 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and major altcoins.  

It is a pre-loadable credit card that accepts such fiat currencies as EUR, GPD, and USD. Even those who don’t have a bank account can use the card nonetheless.

 Uquid Debit Card in Euro

The startup offers you two types of accounts: silver and gold. If you choose the first option, your daily spending limit will be set at $150 worth of cryptocurrencies. In order to increase this limit, you will have to upgrade your account to gold by verifying your identity. The verification procedure requires you to provide the scans of your ID, driving license, proof of residence, etc. With a gold account, you will be able to make unlimited purchases (the same applies to maximum ATM withdrawals).  

NB! Uquid also has its own cryptocurrency called Uquid Coin (UQC) that can be used for paying trading fees, bills, mobile top-ups, etc.     

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SpectroCoin

SpectroCoin is yet another popular debit card that can be denominated in USD and EUR. Just like Uquid, it offers a great variety of digital currencies, so that altcoin lovers do not have to limit themselves to Bitcoin and a few major coins.

The Lithuania-based startup can deliver its physical Bitcoin cards to practically any country, but the shipping will cost you $50.00. However, SpectroCoin offers a virtual card as well for €9.00 with instant delivery.

SpectroCoin Visa Debit Card

There is a 3 percent exchange fee that is coupled with a monthly $1.00 service fee. On top of that, there is a flat $2.5 fee if you would like to cash out your Bitcoin.          

It is mandatory for SpectroCoin debit card users to be KYC verified, but you still will not be allowed to deposit more than $250 per day. Only those who obtain the VIP status after submitting their ID and utility bill will increase their withdrawal limits to $5,000.

FuzeX

FuzeX is a cryptocurrency card that can store up to 40 digital assets and exchange with the help of any of 40 mln ATMs around the globe with a real-time exchange rate. It is worth noting that they snubbed Bitcoin and went Bitcoin Cash instead, but they later added Ethereum and their native token. The physical card will be suitable for conducting contactless payments (you simply have to hand your card to the merchant who will process your payment as an ordinary one).    

FuzeX Cryptocurrency Debit Card

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AdvCash

AdvCash offers payments in USD, GBP, EUR, and RUB, but it won’t ship its card to more than 50 countries (the Middle Eastern countries, Venezuela and even the US). You can use the AdvCash debit card anonymously, but the withdrawal limit for unverified users is set at 500 USD (those who opt for identity verification could go for $3,000).

You can get your card shipped for as little as $4.99 if the order is shipped right after the registration. There are no fees to top up your e-wallet, but transferring funds from the wallet incurs a flat fee ($0.99).

AdvCash Mastercard Debit Card

They also have competitive withdrawal fees — only $1.99 for withdrawing Bitcoin converted to the fiat currency of your choice. It doesn’t stop there — AdvCash won’t charge service fees, which means that you will save that dollar every month.

Bitwala

Bitwala is a relatively new debit card that also boasts support for multiple cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin + more than 40 other options). However, as expected, its flexibility comes with a hardly competitive fee schedule that is similar to that of SpectroCoin. You can order to the card on the official website, but resents beware: Bitwala doesn’t operate in the US. The card can be shipped in only five business days if you are ready to shell out a €69 fee.

Bitwala Mastercard Debit Card

 

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Alex Morris

Zcash Price Prediction — How Much Will ZEC Cost in 2019-20-25?

💣💥In this article, U.Today takes a closer look at one of the best-known privacy coins on the cryptocurrency market that was once embraced by no other but Edward Snowden
Zcash Price Prediction — How Much Will ZEC Cost in 2019-20-25?
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Zcash is a privacy-centered cryptocurrency that allows performing anonymous transactions while using a public Blockchain. The coin uses zero-knowledge cryptography, where something can be verified without revealing any additional details. The project’s roots lie in Zerocoin, the project that was developed by cryptographer Matthew Green, but the two projects currently have very little in common (as stated by Green himself).

Alt: Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox
As reported earlier by U.Today, Zcash Company has been recently renamed to Electric Coin Company, but the 30-strong team will continue to work on the project.

Private transactions

The privacy-centric cryptocurrency Zcash has one famous fan – whistleblower Edward Snowden. In 2017, he called ZEC ‘the best alternative to Bitcoin’. The Zcash network has two types of addresses: transparent and shielded (t- and z-addresses respectively). The latter type of addresses is not visible on Blockchain. However, there the network also has some pain points that should be taken into account:

  • Z-transactions require a lot of computational power, which takes a toll on their adoption.

  • Centralization concerns (Zcash is not fully decentralized since the team behind the coin holds 10 percent of its total supply).

  • Limited storage options (there are no mobile wallets that support Zcash).

Facing major competitors

Zcash remains the second biggest privacy coin after Monero, but this niche of the cryptocurrency industry is getting more and more crowded. As reported by U.Today, Litecoin is mulling over adding Confidential Transactions (CFs) as early as in 2019, which would make the coin an anonymous version of Bitcoin. Moreover, Beam and Grin, two brand-new anonymous cryptocurrencies that are based on the ‘tongue-tying’ Mimblewimble algorithm, also appeared on the market in 2019.
Alt: Beam and Grin - new privacy-centered coins
However, Electric Coin Company CEO Zooko Wilcox believes that these new coins will not be able to compete with Zcash.

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Regulators fear it

2018 was the year of a regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies since governments around the globe want to prevent money laundering and other types of illicit activities.

Zcash has already been embraced by numerous cryptocurrency exchanges, including Coinbase, but the problem is that its complete anonymity opens the doors to scammers and even terrorists. The network allows disabling the privacy feature, so the asset will continue gaining listings on other exchanges.

On the flip side, it is worth noting that privacy coins are serving as powerful tools that protect their users from identity theft and other types of crimes.

Zcash price history  

The price of ZEC has declined 98.82 percent since its very first exchange listing when the coin started trading at $4,293.
Alt: Zcash price peak

Back in January, Zcash reached its new peak of $876, but it fell quickly when the broader cryptocurrency market took a hammering.       
On Dec. 06, ZEC finally got listed on Coinbase, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the US. At the time of writing this article, Zcash is trading at $50.82.

Considering the technology behind Zcash (zk-SNARKs), some might find it surprising that the coin is still not in the top 10. However, the coin has very little real-world adoption compared to its competitors.  

Price pump after halving

Notably, Zcash has the same supply curve as Bitcoin, which means that the asset is becoming more and more scarce. The Zcash community currently has two high-stake halvings that will produce a direct impact on the coin’s price. When all 17 mln ZEC coins are mined, it is quite reasonable to assume that the coin’s price could skyrocket up to $4,000.

Zcash is currently working on reducing the coin’s inflation rate (it stands at 0.1 percent, which is quite high compared to other cryptocurrencies). The introduction of the so-called ‘harmony mining’ will help reduce the mining reward.

In 2020, the Zcash halving will take place – it is expected to reduce the mining rewards by half. That will undoubtedly produce a positive effect on the Zcash price.  

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$60,000 by 2025?

Back in 2018, Grayscale Investments predicted that Zcash could hit a staggering $60,000 by 2025 if it replaced ‘offshore’ bank transfers. Everyone, not just a handful of billionaires, will have access to their own proverbial ‘Swiss bank account’. The price of this asset could increase exponentially if it occupies even a small chunk of this market. For instance, ZEC would cost $6,289 if it represented only one percent of the collective ‘offshore wealth’.

However, the above-mentioned $60,000 figure is far-fetched since one should take into account the harsh competition among privacy coins. Monero (XMR) has already become the dark web’s darling, and its market cap is three times bigger than that of Zcash.

Market sentiment

Of course, one should keep in mind that no one can predict for sure what happens to the cryptocurrency market in the next five years. The price of ZEC price greatly depends on the overall market sentiment, which means that it will probably mimic Bitcoin. If Bitcoin goes down, all altcoins go down as well. However, that wasn’t the case in the mining department – Zcash mining was 400 percent more profitable in June 2018.

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The bottom line

Zcash poses a viable alternative to Bitcoin. This is one of the most prominent privacy coins that allows performing anonymous transactions. While the future of the cryptocurrency looks promising, there are multiple factors that could thwart its growth:

  • Lack of adoption (it won’t be able to compete with other privacy coins if the pace of adoption remains too slow).

  • Bad reputation (Zcash has already been mentioned by Europol as one of the cryptocurrencies that is used by cybercriminals).

  • Regulations (as mentioned above, regulatory clampdown seems imminent if Zcash adoption continues to grow).

  • The overall decline of the crypto market (Zcash won’t be able to survive if Bitcoin and major altcoins hit a snag).   

According to BuySellHodl, which displays real-time price predictions, Zcash is one of the lowest-rated cryptocurrencies with a 46 percent ‘Buy’ rating (Bitcoin SV was the only cryptocurrency lower on the list with only 29 percent of responders willing to buy it). With that being said, Zcash investors also have every reason to believe that the coin’s price will grow substantially after the upcoming halving.

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