05 Jan '18, 7pm

Using Bitcoin as Money Just Got a Lot Harder In Europe

On Friday, several of the most popular Bitcoin debit cards—basically prepaid cards, topped up with cryptocurrency—stopped working in Europe after Visa Europe terminated services for WaveCrest, a prepaid card issuer. Prepaid cards are an important way for people to use Bitcoin to pay for things, even if the retailer doesn’t accept cryptocurrency. Customers deposit their Bitcoin into an account with the Bitcoin debit card company, and the company converts it into fiat money—payments with these cards are processed by established players like Mastercard and Visa. After Visa Europe’s decision regarding WaveCrest on Friday, Bitcoin debit card companies Bitwala , BitPay , Cryptopay , and others announced on Twitter that cards in Europe would stop working effective immediately, and customer funds will be returned. With high fees and slow confirmation times already putting a damper...

Full article: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/wjpzx5/using-b...

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