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Visa approves Australian Crypto startups to issue Debit Cards for Bitcoin transactions

Visa has accepted a local Australian firm, CryptoSpend, to begin supplying debit cards to the company’s new consumers. Those who use the CryptoSpend app can directly pay at retail stores and leisure venues with bitcoin and other compatible currencies.

ASX-listed Novatti will issue the card, which is scheduled to arrive in Australia by September, while custody of the crypto assets will be transferred to BitGo, a New York-licensed custodian, according to AFR.

CryptoSpend is already connected to the RBA-backed “new payments infrastructure,” which allows users to immediately transfer cryptocurrency holdings to Australian bank accounts. 

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With supported cryptos such as bitcoin, ether, XRP, bitcoin cash, and litecoin, users may spend their crypto, get payouts, and pay bills using CryptoSpend’s app. The software includes a wallet for users to store their currencies. Richard Voice, co-founder & COO of CryptoSpend,

We have customers that range from 18-year-old students to 70-year-old grandmothers. [This] further emphasizes the growing appetite for people of all ages to use crypto as an everyday currency.

Major bitcoin exchanges, notably Binance, have already received Visa approval for the issue of spending cards, but these are not yet accessible in Australia. Crypto.com has been approved as a direct issuer of Visa debit cards and is planning to introduce a card shortly in Australia.

In the first half of 2021, Visa reported that more than $1 billion had been spent on crypto-linked Visa cards, the company said, 

For the tens of millions of people using those platforms, one of the simplest ways to spend crypto is through a Visa card, We’re seeing digital wallets and crypto platforms build payment products entirely with digital currency.

Related: Twitter CEO only considers Bitcoin, says ‘no’ to Ethereum

The Visa card is created with a “zero balance” card. The card does not have any fiat on it, instead, the balance is changeable and is based on the value of the crypto in the wallet. It is not regulated as a stored value facility, and its balances are not guaranteed in the same way that they are in banks. The strategy reflects the growing interest in cryptocurrencies in Australia’s economic sector.

Last year, Mastercard, a prominent global payments and technology firm, partnered with BitPay to entered the crypto spending market. In February, the card giant stated that users of its network were increasingly utilizing crypto cards to convert their crypto holdings into traditional currencies for spending, calling the trend “unmistakable.”

According to Visa’s main competitor, Mastercard, allowing consumers to transact in a whole new form of payment would attract new customers who are already flocking to digital assets and help businesses develop loyalty with existing customers who desire this extra choice.

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