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Visa and BlockFi to launch Bitcoin rewards credit card as adoption grows

The new credit card will offer Bitcoin rewards rather than airline miles or cash.

Visa Inc. and BlockFi are teaming up to launch a new credit card that rewards users with Bitcoin (BTC), setting the stage for wider mainstream adoption of digital currency. 

BlockFi, a New York-based startup specializing in crypto-backed loans and savings accounts, announced the partnership on Tuesday. As Bloomberg reported, the new credit card will reward purchases with Bitcoin rather than airline miles or other cashback rewards. Cardholders will be eligible to receive 1.5% of their purchases back in BTC

The card, which carries a $200 annual fee, will be issued by Evolve Bank & Trust.

Although the credit card will be available to the general public in early 2021, BlockFi account holders will be able to sign up beforehand.

BlockFi is “excited to add credit cards to our suite of products and expand Bitcoin’s accessibility to a broader set of consumers,” said Zac Prince, founder and CEO of the startup company.

The BlockFi partnership is part of Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program, which “aims to speed up the process of integrating” with the credit card network. Terry Angelos, SVP and global head of fintech at Visa, says the goal of the fast track program is to help innovative companies “scale with efficiency.”

This isn’t Visa’s first foray into cryptocurrency. Earlier this year, the credit card company partnered with digital startup Fold to offer a debit card that earns crypto-based rewards.

More broadly, Visa has outlined a positive vision for digital currency adoption — reversing an earlier, more hostile attitude. As Cointelegraph reports, Visa’s evolving stance on crypto is to ensure that it maintains its leadership pace of the payments market. Currently, there are more than 25 cryptocurrency wallets connected to Visa’s systems.

The credit card company is also helping to shape regulations towards digital assets around the world, including working with the World Economic Forum to develop recommendations on the use of central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs.

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