New debit card allows consumers to spend cryptocurrency

Photo (c) dem10 - Getty Images

BlockCard converts digital currency to cash for purchases

Despite significant losses over the last 12 months, cryptocurrencies remain popular with some consumers. But how do you spend them? It just got a little easier.

Ternio, a technology firm specializing in blockchain, has introduced BlockCard, a debit card that enables the account holder to spend their cryptocurrency as though it were dollars. The company says it can be used online or at point-of-sale locations in brick and mortar retail locations, as long as the business accepts credit cards.

To start, the BlockCard will allow you to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar Lumens, and Ternio. Consumers who own any of those currencies may deposit them to their BlockCard account. The company says it plans to add additional currencies later in the year.

“Ternio’s goal is to accelerate the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency into everyday life,” said Ian Kane, chief operating officer and founder of Ternio. “BlockCard enables the card holder to gain real utility from their cryptocurrency and removes the notion that crypto is only a speculative asset.”

First to support multiple currencies

BlockCard isn’t the only plastic to support a cryptocurrency, but the company said it is the first to support multiple currencies. It says it is the only card that allows real-time cryptocurrency spending by processing transactions using a crypto exchange.

“We want to give consumers the option on which digital asset they use to fund their BlockCard account,” said Daniel Gouldman, CEO and co-founder of the company. “Card holders decide if they want to buy a bagel with their Bitcoin or a latte with their Stellar Lumens. Most importantly, these transactions occur on digital asset exchanges, which helps to propel the crypto community.”

Ternio said it registered more than 1,000 people during the card’s soft launch. People interested in applying for a card can do so here.

What’s ahead?

Consumers who purchased Bitcoin and other digital currencies early in 2017 saw the value of their holdings surge, but 2018 was a different story, with Bitcoin down about 75 percent from its highs.

What does 2019 hold in store? Bitcoin and other currencies have begun the year with sharp  gains, but they still have a long way to go to make up for their losses. According to, a publication covering the crypto markets, Bitcoin remains in a bearish trend, unable to break above the $4,000 level.

Its value at the end of 2017 was more than $14,000.

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