All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
The service E-Coin that is offering users a Bitcoin-powered Debit Card and an online Multi-Sig wallet is apparently going to be rebranding to Wirex. So in the future instead of E-Coin debit cards you will be getting a Wirex Bitcoin-powered debit card, but with the rebranding we are also supposed to get new extras including a dedicated mobile applications for Android and iOS. Meanwhile the old E-Coin website is still fully functional and is still the way to use your Bitcoin online wallet and to control and manage any virtual or physical Bitcoin-powered debit card if you have already have one.
Last year we have reviewed the service and even got our own physical E-Coin Bitcoin debit card issued to try it out, you can find our first impressions using the card here. We should note that we got an unbranded Visa card issued from My Choice Corporate and apparently the new cards should be Master Cards branded as Wirex Card and be issued from by Wave Crest Holdings. We will have to wait a bit and see that when the rebranding is finished and E-Coin fully transforms as Wirex, something that is currently going at the moment.
As we have already mentioned E-Coin is an online multi-sig wallet for securely storing Bitcoins as well as a service that allows you to get a Bitcoin powered debit card. The Bitcoins you have in your balance however are not directly available for use through your Bitcoin debit card, you need to first load your card by essentially exchanging Bitcoins for the fiat currency of the card. It is also possible to to load money directly in the Bitcoin debit card with a bank transfer, but up until recently you had no option to “unload” money from the card back into your Bitcoin wallet from within the service. Now you finally have to option to Buy Bitcoin with the balance in your card, so you can move BTC to fiat and vice versa any moment you like, so you can even profit “trading” when the exchange rate changes. Of course for trading you would prefer to go for an exchange, but it is convenient to be able to get any unspent EUR from your Bitcon debit card back to Bitcoin if you are not going to be needing them for the moment.
The European company Bitwala that provides services for paying bills by transferring Bitcoin to fiat and more recently started offering BTC to PayPal transfers has added a new service – Bitcoin-powered Debit Cards. According to the service the cards should be already available for “Tier 2 verified” customers in the form of a physical or a virtual debit card nominated in Euro. You can order a virtual Bitcoin debit card for 5 EURO or a physical card for 10 Euro with the regular 0.5% percent fee of the service and funds should be credited on the card up 3 business days and often a lot faster according to the information available (during work days it should not take more than a few hours). This means that similar to their BTC to PayPal service the transfer of Bitcoins to your BTC powered debit card will not be immediate and this in the world of crypto currencies is a serious issue. When you want to spend Bitcoins through a debit card that is powered by BTC you will normally want to be able to immediately spend the coins as fiat and not having to wait for up to a few days. Thee are already alternatives for Bitcoin debit cards that we have tried and that offer users to immediately spend their available coins in a wallet or loaded to the card as fiat such as Xapo Bitcoin Debit Card or E-coin Bitcoin Debit Card. Though having more alternatives and different options can be helpful at times, especially in the world of crypto currencies, so this is one more option for a Bitcoin debit card that you can have.
A few days ago we have talked about the E-Coin Bitcoin Debit Card and meanwhile we have also received our physical Bitcoin debit card from the service and have tried it out already. Prior to that we were using a virtual Bitcoin powered debit card that is also being offered by the service, a product that is good only for online payments, but you get it almost immediately and it offers you an easy way to spend Bitcoin at places that do not directly accept BTC payments. But back on the physical Bitcoin powered card that we got from the service, to our surprise it was not branded plastics like the images shown on the official website, instead it comes with a default prepaid Visa debit card design that is supplied by the card partner that is used – in this case it is My Choice – the same partner that Xapo uses for their online Bitcoin-powered cars as well.
The E-Coin virtual and physical Bitcoin-powered VISA debit cards do have a separate balance than your balance in the online wallet you also get when you register for the service. This means that once you have some BTC in your E-Coin online wallet they will not be immediately available for use in your Bitcoin debit card, you will have to load some of the coins in the card’s balance in order to be able to use them. This allows you to move only a certain amount of coins in your card whenever you want to make a payment with the amount you need to pay, unlike with the Xapo card where the wallet balance is directly available for use with the card as well. Do note that sending BTC to your E-Coin wallet requires at least 3 network confirmations for the coins to be credited in the wallet and then you can immediately move some of these coins or all of them to the card “loading it” without further waiting time, though these seems to be some small fee for the transfer to the card that you are being charged. When you load the card with BTC you set the amount in coins that you already have in your online wallet an they are being converted to the currency that the card is in such as EURO for example based on the current exchange rate. So you exchange the coins to fiat money when you load the card with the current exchange rate unlike with Xapo for example where the conversion happens when you are actually making the payment from the card.