Posted July 07, 2021
By Jonas Elmerraji
How to Get Free Bitcoin From Your Credit Card
Visa (NYSE: V) and Mastercard (NYSE: MA) are getting into the crypto game.
That means you can get free bitcoin from your credit card…
And maybe more importantly, it means that the biggest payment networks are making big bets on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology that could speed adoption industrywide.
Let me explain.
Earlier this year, Visa announced that it had partnered with Crypto.com to settle transactions in USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin whose value is pegged to the U.S. dollar. Each USDC is backed by a dollar in reserves (and those balances are checked each month by public accounting firm Grant Thornton). Put simply, it means that Visa can use blockchain for transactions without exposure to volatility in cryptos like Bitcoin.
The pilot program with Crypto.com was designed to support the Visa card that’s issued by the company. It means that the company doesn’t need to convert digital currencies into dollars to settle up with Visa each day.
“Visa’s latest step, which will use the ethereum blockchain, strips out the need to convert digital coin into traditional money in order for the transaction to be settled. Visa said it has partnered with digital asset bank Anchorage and completed the first transaction [in March] — with Crypto.com sending USDC to Visa’s Ethereum address at Anchorage,” reported Reuters at the time.
That’s not all.
Customers who use Crypto.com’s Visa card also get cashback payouts in CRO, the company’s cryptocurrency. CRO can be traded for other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and USD Coin.
The CRO rewards range from 1–8% depending on the customer’s CRO holdings — folks willing to hold more CRO get bigger rewards.
But Crypto.com isn’t the only company that’s giving free cryptocurrencies to its credit card users…
Crypto exchange Gemini is launching a Mastercard with up to 3% cashback rewards paid out in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency that trades on Gemini’s exchange. They’re currently accepting names on a waitlist for their card.
There are a handful of other existing or upcoming credit cards that offer cashback rewards paid in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Visa and Mastercard’s crypto bets come not long after online payment networks PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) and Square (NYSE: SQ) announced that they’d allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies last year.
PayPal began letting users pay for all goods and services using crypto back in March.
Looking ahead, Visa has already said that it plans to add more stablecoins to its platform. Mastercard will support select currencies for transactions this year.
This is a powerful trend that Visa and Mastercard are clearly investing in meaningfully. It’s not trivial to integrate cryptos into these companies’ massive payment networks. But the adoption of this tech means that many more people may have exposure to cryptocurrencies in the months ahead.
It’s another example of the growing adoption that’s been taking place in the crypto space, even as Bitcoin cools off from its record highs this summer.
Meanwhile, the technical setup in Bitcoin continues to unfold. More on that next week…
Jonas Elmerraji, CMT