Anyone who has been a long-time user of Coinbase knows that the cryptocurrency startup hasn’t exactly always made it easy to buy Bitcoin.
In the early days you had to link your U.S bank account, verify it via two small deposits, and still wait up to five days for the Bitcoin to be sent to your wallet each time you made a purchase. Then, the company added instant purchases (which allowed you to receive the Bitcoin immediately), but only if you had a credit card linked to the account as a backup payment method.
But today that has finally changed, as the company announced that instant buys from debit cards are now available to all users in the United States.
This is a big deal, mainly because of the increasing amount of consumers in the U.S who solely rely on debit cards. And since waiting 3-5 days to receive Bitcoin kind of defeats the purpose of buying it at all, many consumers shied away from Coinbase’s platform, turning instead to companies like Circle.
For the privilege of using your debit card, Coinbase will charge a 3.75% fee, compared to the 1% fee they currently charge for purchases funded by your bank account. In addition, the company is requiring all users who use debit cards to verify their identity before making their first purchase.
One more downside; the company will be limiting debit card purchases to just $250 worth of Bitcoin per day, compared to $10,000 per day when using your bank account.
But even with the additional verification and low purchase limits, the acceptance of debit cards should still lead to a flood of new users signing up to purchase Bitcoin on the platform.
The company says the feature is coming to other countries soon, although most European users have been able to use a debit card on Coinbase since late last summer.