- FTX is launching bitcoin and crypto-backed debit cards in 40 countries.
- The exchange partnered with Visa and will focus on Latin America, Asia and Europe.
- The offering is available to US users, and the partnership will now be extended internationally.
Visa has partnered with one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, FTX, to launch bitcoin and cryptocurrency debit cards internationally, per a press release.
“The debit cards, which are linked directly to a user’s FTX accounts, are currently available in the United States and are now being rolled out globally in over 40 additional countries, including many across Latin America,” p[er The next phase of the rollout for the FTX-branded Visa debit cards is expected in Europe before the end of the year, with additional regional launches planned for 2023
Visa, along with its competitors in the marketplace, continues to hold that users of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies still want to use their holdings as a medium of exchange, even amid a bear market downturn.
“Even though values have come down, there’s still steady interest in crypto,” said Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu, per the release.
The debit cards simply connect to FTX’s platform enabling users to spend the digital assets in their wallets without needing to remove the assets from the exchange’s platform.
“We don’t have a position as a company on what the value of cryptocurrency should be, or whether it’s a good thing in the long run –– as long as people have things they want to buy, we want to facilitate it,” said Prabhu.
Visa’s major competitor, Mastercard, has also partnered with a number of different companies to offer bitcoin and crypto-backed debit cards. American Express has reportedly expressed interest in offering a similar product as well, though its CEO said it likely would not be “anytime soon.”
FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried discussed Visa and other payment providers entering the ecosystem in a CNBC report:
“There’s a decision you have to make as a traditional payments company: do you want to lean into this or do you want to fight against it? I respect the fact that many of them are leaning into it.”
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