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Like many here, I'm very much interested in using Bitcoin (or any derivative thereof), but I'm not having much luck doing it locally. I need a fix to this problem, maybe BitPay Card.

I'm very much interested in Bitcoin as a pseudonymous, peer-to-peer transaction (i.e. cash) but equally important, as a firewall against the Visa/MC increasing power in the economy, regarding both central transaction processing AND the merchant fees. Given that, what is the argument for using BitPay Card? I don't see using it, per se, as consistent with the virtue of bitcoin, but I would be open to it, if it can be a springboard to greater adoption in using bitcoin.

The way I see it:

  • On one hand, using BitPay Card isn't really using bitcoin. You need to be verified to use it and it seems to be powered by Visa. As far as I can tell, it is no different that using the debit card that is already in my pocket. It's not really an alternative to Visa/MC. There is no real pseudonymity. Most importantly, widespread use of BitPay Card may actually obviate the need to transact directly in bitcoins.

  • However, a widespread use of BitPay Card gives more volume/heft to the underlying bitcoin infrastructure thereby providing a more solid foundation for the more widespread adoption of bitcoin: stabilizing the value/exchange rate of bitcoin, giving comfort to merchants in using bitcoin directly, giving comfort to employee/employers to pay wages in bitcoin, etc.

Given that, I still don't know whether to sign up or not. Is there consensus understanding among the bitcoin user community (not investor community) on the usage of BitPay Card?

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It's for early adopters and those with a large percentage of their wealth in bitcoin. Since bitcoin isn't widely accepted at merchants these people use debit cards tied to bitcoin to spend their hoarded coins. It really doesn't make sense for a newcomer. In fact bitcoin rarely makes sense for newcomers as a payment method.

  • That's true. Some people have big amount of Bitcoin and don't bother exchange that for fiat currency. But I don't see this as a huge pain. Some others just use it for fun. – Tong Shen Mar 19 '18 at 4:11
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In short, there is no added value using a Bitpay Card as it relies on some third-party to process your payments (i.e. the Visa Payment Network or Mastercard). What you are basically doing is simply converting Bitcoins back to Fiat Currency to fund some transaction you're paying through your Bitpay Card.

Not only it does not add value, it puts you in a worse situation as Bitpay will most certainly take a cut out of processing your conversions from BTC to Fiat Currency.

  • I'm pretty sure they don't take a cut of the BTC->fiat conversions. They make their money on merchant fees. – David Schwartz May 18 '17 at 21:11

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