In a press release sent to CoinReport on Wednesday, Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex and digital payment processing company Blade Payments announced they will be partnering to provide real-time Bitcoin debit cards to Bitfinex customers. Users holding Blade cards will be able to withdraw from their Bitfinex accounts at ATMs and make purchases from online merchants and physical stores.
“We are very happy to be providing our users with access to their bitcoin at any time via Blade’s industry-leading debit cards,” said Zane Tackett, Bitfinex’s director of community and product development. “We see the ability to withdraw directly from one’s Bitfinex account using traditional ATMs around the world as a major benefit for our users.”
“The partnership is huge for Blade,” Ed Boyle, CEO of Blade Payments, told CoinReport in an email. “Bitfinex is one of the largest exchanges and it gives validation that debit cards can provide the needed solution to the liquidity problem facing many Bitcoin users.”
Boyle said in the press release, “We are thrilled to be working with Bitfinex, one of the premier exchanges in the world. Our business is built on simplifying and expediting the process of launching a bitcoin spending card and we are excited to partner with Bitfinex to provide their customers the most sophisticated card in the market.”
Bitfinex believes this debit card will provide customers with a cheaper, more convenient alternative for spending Bitcoin and withdrawing fiat currency. Currently, most Bitcoin debit cards require users to sell their Bitcoin and then load their card before being able to withdraw fiat currencies. This partnership changes the process by allowing users to link their Bitcoin holdings to the card. The required Bitcoin amounts for purchases will be instantly converted into the proper fiat currency.
The debit card will be available to select customers in Asia and Europe over the coming months, and will be available exclusively on the Bitfinex website.
According to siliconAngle, while other Bitcoin-based debits cards are available, this partnership is the first to simplify the process and allow users point-of-sale access to their Bitcoin accounts.