San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has recently struck a partnership with London-based startup WeGift to let its users purchase gift cards with cryptocurrencies through its platform.
In a recent announcement Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase UK, revealed the new feature is available to users in a few EU countries and in Australia. It’ll allow them to spend crypto “with all of their favourite retailers, like Nike, Tesco, Uber, Google Play, Ticketmaster, Zalando, and many more.”
Customers purchasing an e-gift card will enjoy zero Coinbase withdrawal fees and bonuses on select e-gifts. From converting bitcoin into Uber credits or ether into a Nike shopping spree, customers will have greater flexibility and control over how they use their crypto.
The service is notably only available in the UK, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and in Australia. Coinbase is present in dozens of countries, so it’ll presumably be rolled out to all of its users as the company navigates regulatory barriers.
On its website, WeGift reveals that users purchasing gift cards with cryptocurrencies can get small bonuses, with the biggest one seemingly being 6 percent. In its announcement, Feroz touted that “making crypto easier to use, trade and spend is a core part of our efforts to improve the customer experience.”
Despite its stance, some crypto users may avoid the service, as linking their account to WeGift will allow the startup to withdraw a specific amount of funds from their wallets. While the amount can be set, it may be problematic in case WeGift gets hacked.
It’s worth pointing out users looking to buy gift cards with crypto have various alternatives, including online stores specifically created to accept cryptocurrencies. Coinbase’s move comes months after it received an e-money license authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s markets watchdog.
Coinbase, which earlier this year added support for GBP deposits and withdrawals, has recently made headlines after an investigation it conducted revealed there was no insider trading ahead of its Bitcoin Cash listing. The company’s ads have recently returned to platforms like Google and Instagram, in a significant policy reversal.
Notably, the recent bearish trend that hit the cryptocurrency ecosystem affected the San Francisco-based exchange’s popularity, as its traffic plunged from 126 million monthly visits in January to 28 million in June.