Bybit, the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, has announced the launch of its new debit card that will allow users to make payments and withdraw cash using their cryptocurrency holdings. The Bybit card will operate on the Mastercard network and will initially allow fiat-based transactions by debiting cryptocurrency balances when used to pay for goods and services. The new service begins with the launch of a free virtual card for online purchases, while physical debit cards are set to be available in April 2023. The card will work with Bitcoin, Ether, Tether, USD Coin, and XRP balances on user accounts. Payments made with the Bybit card will automatically convert the balances of these initial cryptocurrencies into euros or pounds, depending on the user’s country of residence.
ATM withdrawals and global payments will be limited to the aggregated cryptocurrency holdings of a user’s Bybit account. The cards will be issued by London-based payments solutions provider Moorwand. Bybit’s move into the debit card space comes just days after the exchange announced the suspension of U.S. dollar bank transfers, citing “service outages” by one of its processing partners. Bybit users can continue to make USD deposits using Advcash Wallet and credit cards, while users are urged to carry out any pending U.S. dollar wire withdrawals by March 10.
The virtual and physical debit card offerings are a major step forward for Bybit, as they allow users to seamlessly use their cryptocurrency holdings in the real world. This move follows a report at the end of February 2023 that suggests Mastercard and Visa would hold off on announcing or embarking on further direct partnerships with the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. However, Mastercard has been exploring payment options in USDC through new partnerships, while Visa has hinted at plans to allow customers to convert cryptocurrencies into fiat on its platform in 2023.
Overall, Bybit’s new debit card offering is a significant development for the cryptocurrency industry, as it marks a major step towards the integration of digital assets into everyday life. The ability to use cryptocurrency for daily transactions has long been seen as a key milestone in the industry’s development, and the Bybit card is a major step towards achieving that goal. With the popularity of cryptocurrency continuing to grow, it is likely that we will see more companies launching similar services in the coming years.