Bitfinex, one of the prominent bitcoin exchanges is one its way to make payments using bitcoin a lot simpler and easy to use, just like the way we pay using fiat currency. In order to do so, Bitfinex has partnered with Blade Payments, a payments services company to offer real-time bitcoin debit cards to its customers.
Customers using Blade technology enabled cards will be able to pay for their purchases at Point of Sale terminals and ATMs without preloading their card in advance. Apart from a handful of exchanges, none of them are offering these real-time debit cards. The debit cards issued by majority of the exchanges work like pre-paid or gift cards, where the users will have to first load their card with a minimum amount of bitcoin balance which is converted to fiat currency and maintained in the account. Whenever they make a transaction, the amount in the wallet/ account connected to the debit card will be deducted.
Bitfinex cards, provided in association with Blade Payments is directly connected to the customers’ bitcoin wallet on Bitfinex platform. Whenever the user makes a transaction, equivalent amount in bitcoin will be converted in real time and gets debited from their wallet. This will allow the user to avoid multiple steps involved in setting up the card balance and chances of the account running out of balance (most of these pre-paid cards have a upper cap of $10000).
While these cards are ATM compatible and withdrawals can be made using them, the supported ATM network has still not been made available by either Bitfinex or Blade Payments. However, according to the company, these cards can be readily used at any Point of Sale or online stores. Bitfinex customers from European and Asian markets can avail these cards in the next few months.