How to spend Bitcoin on your shopping – What are the benefits and how does it work?

May 20, 2017

As I learn more about Blockchain, Bitcoin and Ethereum, I have decided to open a Bitcoin debit card to test out paying for my goods and services with a Bitcoin backed card.

I am UK based, but I travel a lot to Europe and have applied for a EUR card. This is a fantastic benefit of Bitcoin as I can purchase Bitcoin in GBP (Where I earn most of my money) and then spend as EUR from Bitcoin – thus avoiding GBP to EUR fees. This will also work with USD as you can apply for USD Bitcoin backed cards.

I searched for the best providers of Bitcoin backed cards and I narrowed the options down to two providers (based on my needs)

Xapo and e-coin (soon to be wirex) – I opened a bitcoin account with Xapo but realised the fees for the card were higher for my needs than e-coin.

I proceeded to open a bitcoin account with e-coin to fund the purchase of the EUR card and transferred the bitcoin from my existing Coinbase account.

If you do not have a Bitcoin account and would like to earn £8 ($10) of bitcoin please use this link

Once the bitcoins were cleared, I completed the details as seen in the next few images

  1. Deposit your bitcoin into your wirex account

2. Choose your card (GBP, EUR or USD) and whether you would like a physical card or a virtual card. Finally choose your delivery options

3. Select your payment method. I have chosen to use Bitcoin but you can use traditional fiat currencies, credit cards and paypal – plenty of options

4. As long as you have cleared funds you will then be able to personalise the card, include all your delivery details and make the payment

5. On your bitcoin page you will see the card has been ordered and paid for. (The screenshot is just before the status changed to Success)

6. You receive a confirmation email from Wirex

7. You can also verify yourself to improve your limits and spending – they ask you to upload Government ID and proof of address – same as any UK bank would request

8. Finally you receive the overall confirmation screen showing the bitcoin payments and the card status (waiting for activation)

The benefits of (reasons why) I am testing the Bitcoin backed Mastercard from Wirex:

  1. Linked to my bitcoin account
  2. Able to spend in EUR, USD and GBP without transaction currency exchange fees
  3. Smart app to track spending to be launched imminently (similar to Monzo)
  4. Accepted in most places as it is Mastercard

The card is now on it’s way and I am looking forward to using in on my next trip to Europe and I will update you all once I have tested the card and service from e-coin/wirex

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on my experience and any questions you may have from my experience

and if you would like to test the products:

If you would like a GBP, EUR or USD card please use this link for a 25% discount

If you would like to earn £8 ($10) of bitcoin please use this link and purchase £80 ($100) of Bitcoin

If you wish to contribute Bitcoin to my research please use the address/QR Code below – Many Thanks