Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are very popular, particularly since you can use them to buy things with a bit more privacy than a regular credit card allows. But wouldn't you like it to be easier to buy everyday things with your collection of virtual currency? Well you can, with a new debit-like card.
The card comes from the London Block Exchange, letting people spend their Bitcoins (and other similar currencies) anywhere across the UK. The Dragoncard, as it's being called, will let any crypto investors instantly convert Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and Monero currencies into regular Pound Sterling - meaning they can buy things in normal shops like normal people who don't understand what Bitcoin is.
Unlike your debit or credit card, though, it's not all totally free. Each transaction comes with a 0.5 per cent charge to convert your coins into pounds, so that's worth bearing in mind before you rush off to get one. It also comes with a one-off charge of £20, and charges a fee for any cash machine withdrawals you might want to make. How much that fee is isn't clear right now.
Investors will have to be specifically invited to get a card of their own, but pre-registration for members of the public is already live. Operations will be limited until 4th December, when the public will be able to start spending their cryptocurrencies with the card. If they can afford cryptocurrencies, that is.
While some people have dismissed crypto transactions because of how slow they are, LBX does all the conversions itself rather than at the point of sale. So it pays the vendor in pound sterling, and then deducts that money currency. That makes it nice and quick, and completely painless for everyone else.
Update: Visa reached out to clarify this story, stating that it has no partnership with LBX and has nothing to do with the exchange's new card. The company also doesn't deal with cryptocurrency in anyway. We apologise for the inaccuracies which were the result of LBX's inaccurate press release, and have updated the story to remove all mention of Visa.