Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is launching its debit card in Ireland, joining an ever-growing market of new fintech services.
Binance Card is entering a crowded field for consumer fintech products where mainstays such as Revolut and N26 have amassed sizeable user numbers here, while Coinbase, another cryptocurrency firm, launched its card last year.
Chinese-founded but Malta-headquartered Binance says it is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume.
Josh Goodbody, Binance’s director of European growth, said the card will connect the exchange’s user base with everyday spending needs.
Many crypto payment cards, he said, are prepaid solutions requiring users to top the card up by converting their crypto to a traditional currency such as euro before it can be used at point of sale.
“What consumers have really been missing in Europe is a fit-for-purpose daily solution – not something that’s suitable for ad hoc spending, but something that you can use in your day-to-day life,” he said.
“[The card] allows us to, at the point of sale, debit the cryptocurrency from the user’s account and convert that in real time into fiat currency,” he said.
Binance Card is issued on the Visa network and was built in conjunction with a startup called Swipe, which builds cryptocurrency wallet and conversion tech, that was acquired by Binance in June.
Goodbody said a consumer-friendly card which automates the conversion process would boost adoption. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin can fluctuate wildly in value but have garnered interest as speculative investments rather than for ordinary daily spending.