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.
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