Bitcoin start-up E-Coin has launched a virtual bitcoin debit card that works where VISA is accepted. The virtual bitcoin debit card has until now existed in the realm of possibilities largely due to the idiosyncrasies of the global financial system.
E-Coin solves a problem that has affected bitcoin users worldwide. Bitcoin users have had to cope with limited spending opportunities. By combining bitcoin with VISA, users of the virtual prepaid card will now be able to perform all the normal transactions that ordinary cardholders are able to do such as load funds, withdraw, and shop online. The most exciting aspect about E-Coin is its merging of the traditional financial architecture with the new reality of digital currencies. E-Coin currently has about 20,000 customers spread out in 173 countries worldwide.
To set up an E-Coin account is easy and straightforward. It was a process that took this writer less than five minutes. Like all other similar products, the E-Coin virtual debit card is subject to withdrawal and spending limits. However these can be increased after submitting verification documents.
The E-Coin card is bound to excite developers and the general crypto community since it now allows anyone to spend bitcoin at any website that does not accept it as yet. In addition, it can also be used for third-party services such as PayPal and ApplePay.
E-Coin also offers physical bitcoin debit cards. The platform is simple to use, and promises customers hassle-free and instant conversion between bitcoin and the three fiat currencies currently available, the dollar, the pound, and the euro. E-Coin is at present not available in some key markets such as the US and India.
CCN interviewed Dmitry Lazarichev, co-founder and spokesperson for E-Coin and the following were his responses to our questions.
How long have you been working on this product?
In your press release, you said that there have been inconsistencies and friction in the global financial system. What are some of those inconsistencies and friction that you have encountered?
The main problem is that several countries and big markets such US and India are closed for us.
Did regulators in the US and India explain their reasons for denying you access?
We’d need banking partners in these regions to deal with local complaints.
Now that you’ve sealed this partnership with Visa, could we expect to see partnerships with MasterCard or American Express down the road?
Yes, we might start to work with MC (Mastercard) soon.
In addition to the planned mobile app that you plan to release, could we expect an API that will extend the functionality of your product?
Our mobile app will be ready in 2-3 months and we also offer APIs for partners.
There are several countries in which E-coin is not available. Would you give an approximate time-frame in which you will cover those markets?
It is a very good question. However, it vastly depends on bank regulations and political issues.
What other products and services could we hope to see from E-coin?
We are about to release virtual cards. Also we are going to add some more functionalities for the customers allowing them to earn on the bitcoin rate volatility.
E-Coin will be holding a Q&A on Zapchain. Please click here to register for the event.
Featured image from Shutterstock.