Coinbase Rolls Out Crypto Gift Card Service to EU and Australia

Francisco Memoria
  • Thanks to a new partnership Coinbase now lets users purchase gift cards with cryptocurrencies.
  • The move may not be welcomed by some users, as it grants a London-based startup some control.

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.”

Feroz wrote:

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.

Zeeshan Feroz

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.

Microsoft's Bing Reportedly Blocked Over 5 Million Cryptocurrency Ads Last Year

Francisco Memoria

Microsoft’s search engine Bing has reportedly blocked over 5 million cryptocurrency-related ads last year, as a result of a ban the search engine enacted in an attempt to protect its users from fraudsters.

According to Bing’s ad quality review, the company’s bad account takedowns doubled in 2018, with cryptocurrency, weapons, and third-party tech support scams being the main problems it faced. Overall, Bing suspended “nearly 200,000 accounts” last year, and removed 900 million ads from its platform.

As covered, Bing banned cryptocurrency-related ads back in May, in a move it claimed was made to protect users from scammers, as the crypto market being unregulated meant cryptocurrencies “present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors, or otherwise scam consumers.”

At the time Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo, who published the company’s blog post on the move, wrote:

To help protect our users from this risk, we have made the decision to disallow advertising for cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency related products, and un-regulated binary options. Bing Ads will implement this change to our financial product and services policy globally in June, with enforcement rolling out in late June to early July.

The move saw cryptocurrencies join other questionable products and services Microsoft banned from its platform. These include Ponzi and pyramid schemes, and the mentioned third-party tech support scams.

Bing notably banned cryptocurrency-related ads following bans enacted by search giant Google and social media giant Facebook. These two firms have since started allowing crypto-related ads from a few companies.

At the time, various cryptocurrency associations threatened lawsuits against the tech giants over what they claimed to be “cartel collusion” against cryptos, made in an attempt to manipulate the market.

Although Microsoft’s search engine has banned crypto ads, the tech giant itself has been accepting bitcoin payments since 2014. Its website even has a how-to page walking users through the process of topping up their accounts using BTC.