Cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase has struck a new partnership to enable customers in Europe and Australia spend their cryptocurrency at major retailers and services including Nike and Uber.
Coinbase is partnering WeGift, a London-based FinTech startup for the new service which allows its users to fundamentally withdraw their cryptocurrency into gift cards that can be used at over 120 retailers including Uber, Amazon and Tesco, among others.
The upside, WeGift explains on its website, is zero swap fees alongside an average bonus of 5% in gift card value after converting crypto from the user’s Coinbase account. ‘Customers purchasing an e-gift card will enjoy zero Coinbase withdrawal fees and bonuses on select e-gifts,’ Coinbase UK CEO Zeeshan Feroz said in an announcement.
“With the launch of e-gift cards, customers have a new option to spend their crypto balances, realizing its value to buy tangible things or experiences,” he added, underlining the benefits of enabling users to spend their cryptocurrency for physical goods and services.
“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.”
At launch, the service is only available to customers in Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands. With a presence in 32 countries, Coinbase intends to rollout the feature in other markets over the next three months.
The new service follows the operator’s marked expansion into Europe this year after the San Francisco-based crypto giant received an e-money license by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial regulator, granting it the means to provide e-money services as a cash alternative for 23 EU nations and the UK.
Coinbase’s other notable expansion in recent times sees the exchange carve an entry into Japan, one of the world’s largest crypto trading markets.