On July 25, 2018, Coinbase announced in a blog post that customers in Europe and Australia will be able to spend their cryptocurrency on actual e-gift cards. Coinbase would be the first cryptocurrency platform to offer this type of withdrawal. Currently, the majority of retailers do not accept cryptocurrencies. This new service however, would serve as an effective workaround. It became possible through their partnership with a London based startup called WeGift; which offers goods and services with over 120 popular brands such as Nike, Tesco, Google Play, and Ticketmaster.
The purchasing experience is incredibly user-friendly. The customer would simply go to WeGift Coinbase website, choose the wallet to spend from, choose the amount, and then buy. Coinbase will not require customers to pay a withdrawal fee and even earn bonuses on selected brands ranging from 1 to 9 percent (similar to Ebates).
This release helped with the issue between Coinbase and Shift, a partnership in the U.S. to exchange cryptocurrency for Visa cards. Unfortunately, European countries could not take advantage of this as Visa stopped working with Wave Crest Holding - the card issuer for all European cryptocurrency cards.
According to Coinbase, “from converting bitcoin into Uber credits or ether into a Nike shopping spree, customers will have greater flexibility and control over how they use their crypto.” This would enable customers to create more of a unified cryptocurrency experience now that they can buy the brands that they love with their cryptocurrency. The new service is available in Spain, France, Italy, the UK, Netherlands, and Australia and Coinbase said they will be growing that country and retailer lit within the next few months. It is important to note though, that Coinbase does only support the major cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic. Sadly, no Nike shopping spree with Dogecoin. That will have to wait.
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