Coinbase made an announcement this week suggesting that the company is planning to solve the number one issue consumers have at the moment with cryptocurrencies. While cryptocoins are readily available for trading on the internet and used for buying certain types of goods and services online, they have not yet become widely accepted offline. With Coinbase’s latest plans, however, this is about to change. Users will soon be able to pay for a number of goods and services including their Uber rides using cryptocoins.
Coinbase Partners Up With WeGift
We have seen Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies move up the ranks this year. Even global organizations and banking institutions are taking notice. China is planning to launch their own cryptocurrency, Barclays filed for patents regarding cryptocurrencies and Russia has announced the new Sovereign Token (SOV).
However, until now, the average consumer has been facing one significant problem. Although it is easy to use Bitcoins online, try to buy a can of soda or a bottle of shampoo with Bitcoin and things started to become more difficult.
Coinbase, the major company in the cryptocurrency industry, has announced that they will soon change all of this. The company is partnering up with WeGift, a company that has revolutionized the way companies, and brands work with gift cards. WeGift and Coinbase will bring Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to local merchants.
The announcement was made on Tuesday, and it has sparked a lot of interest and debate all over the internet since.
Not A Direct Payment Solution, But A Big Step Forward
The partnership between Coinbase and WeGift does not yet mean consumers can walk into just any store and pay with their crypto coins. At the moment, just over 100 retailers are supported during the early phases of the project, according to estimates. Moreover, consumers will not be trading cryptocurrency directly for goods or services at stores, and they will use a gift card instead.
The process would involve buying cryptocurrency on the Coinbase platform or using already owned cryptocoins. The app would then connect to the WeGift platform. This connection will allow the user to decide on a gift card they wish to buy with the cryptocurrency that is stored in their Coinbase wallet.
The process will not involve the issuing of a physical card, which means transactions will happen in an instant. The user will not have to wait for delivery of anything, and will immediately be issued an e-gift card. The card can then be used as a payment option at a number of retailers.
Coinbase and WeGift have not yet revealed which stores would be supported with this new partnership project. However, they have thrown some names at us, such as Tesco, Amazon, and Uber. It was also mentioned that more than 100 different retailers would be available from the very start.
It does not seem the United States will be supported during the early phases of this project, in regard to physical retailers. The company has announced that they are starting to roll out the project in a selected number of countries at the moment. This includes the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and Australia.
The reasons these countries will be the first to support the gift card exchange program has not been made public. Future plans would involve expanding the project to more regions. Additionally, the partnered companies also hope to add support for more stores in the near future.
Coinbase also recently launched support for new cryptocurrencies on their platform. Thus, users can expect to utilize more than just their Bitcoin and Ethereum to buy goods from Amazon and order rides from Uber using crypto coins.