The Fold app — a Lightning-compatible mobile app that offers users Bitcoin rewards (BTC) while shopping — has joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program.
Joining the program will enable the app to launch a new Visa co-branded card, which continues the offer of Bitcoin rewards for purchases made at retailers.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Fold’s CEO Will Reeves said that Visa would be providing the company with financial support and a dedicated team to bring the new Bitcoin cash-back rewards card to market.
Earn, don’t spend, your Bitcoin
As reported, the Fold app has so far been offering users the ability to spend Bitcoin or fiat at major retailers such as Amazon, Uber and Starbucks, requiring them to synchronize their accounts either with an existing credit card or Lightning wallet.
The new offering with Visa will enable the firm’s users to use an integrated service. At a time when multiple major industry players are exploring the possibilities of various crypto debit cards, Reeves distinguished Fold’s as follows:
“Other cards announced by major exchanges […] require you to spend your crypto triggering taxable events. Our card enables you to spend dollars and earn Bitcoin.”
Reeves clarified that earning rewards denominated in Bitcoin does not trigger a taxable event “as the Bitcoin is not being sold.” The card will be functional at over 10 million merchants worldwide.
Bridging the old and the new
With major United States crypto exchange Coinbase recently announcing its principal membership of Visa, the field of crypto debit cards continues to diversify, promising users a more flexible and familiar, “legacy” interface to earn and access cryptocurrency.
This February, blockchain popularizer and sports fan token project Socios announced its launch of an integrated membership and fiat-crypto prepaid debit card, which also provides blockchain-based global ID functionality.
Meanwhile, the likes of Amazon have been slow to directly integrate cryptocurrencies, leaving the field open to third-party projects offering either crypto rewards, prepaid debit or gift cards to bridge the gap between established e-commerce and Bitcoin.