Recent reports by blockchain research company Chainalysis have indicated that the African continent is leading in crypto adoption. In particular, Africans are trading mostly on peer-to-peer platforms like Localbitcoins and Paxful.
But like is the case with the rest of the world, mainstream African businesses have not warmed up to the idea of accepting crypto as payment for goods and services. That is because they know little about cryptocurrencies, they are wary of their market price volatility, or they do not want to deal with the legal ramifications.
Indeed, regulators in several African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco, have warned their citizens against handling cryptocurrencies.
It seems though Africans are paying little attention to the action and noise from regulators and financial critics. Innovation is helping them overcome obstacles in converting to and from fiat as well as spending the cryptocurrencies they accumulate in mainstream online and offline stores.
One such innovation is the crypto debit card. This card is loaded using cryptocurrency and then used at any point of sale or ATM that accepts Visa, MasterCard, or UnionPay.
While crypto like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin is used to load the card, the merchants receive the payment in the local fiat currency. The exchange behind the debit card converts the crypto into fiat based on reigning market rates.
Globally, the list of crypto debit cards is growing. Access to these cards on the African continent depends on country to country, and some countries have more than others. Indeed, some countries are not served by any.
The following are the crypto debit cards that are shipped to users in Africa.
This card is part of the package you receive when your application to be a member of ClubSwan is accepted. You also get two bank accounts (European and American), access to exclusive deals by top global retailers and travel agencies as well as a platform to manage royalty points you receive from various merchants.
Besides, you get access to a platform for generating and managing wallets for holding several types of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
You sell the coins in your wallets to a linked exchange whenever you need to use your ClubSwan debit card to shop or withdraw cash at the ATM. The proceeds are sent to your bank account on the ClubSwan online platform, and you can then use the money to load the card.
ClubSwan accepts applications and ships their cards to the following 14 African countries.
- South Africa
This debit card is issued through a mobile application with wallets to manage different payment methods, including crypto, Alipay, and WeChat. The app also supports the online trading of precious metals like gold and silver.
Technically, Paycent is not a crypto debit card but one that has crypto as one of the several payment methods it accepts for loading or topping up.
Paycent was initially designed for the South East Asia market. Nevertheless, the debit card works fine elsewhere, and it is shipped to almost all African countries.
This is a primarily crypto debit card. When it launched in 2016, it supported only Bitcoin, but today you can use it with over 100 other cryptocurrencies.
The company is headquartered in the United Kingdom but serves over a hundred countries, and it ships to almost all African countries.
Indeed, Uquid and Paycent serve most African countries.
This is a Russian-based online payment processor with crypto as one of several payment methods you can use to load its debit card. The company has been in existence for close to two decades.
Advcash does not support crypto directly on its platform, but they have a partnership with Binance exchange. That means you first need to be a user on Binance and then link your wallet there to your Advcash account.
When applying for the card online, you can choose either Visa or Mastercard. On the African continent, the Advcash card is shipped to only Cameroon.
Crypterium is a Visa crypto debit that accepts about 20 different cryptocurrencies, including the top ones like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
The company that issues the card was launched in 2017 by Austin Kimm, Gleb Markov, and Vladimir Gorbunov in Estonia.
Crypterium serves close to 40 countries, including South Africa.
Cryptopay was founded in 2013 by Dmitry Gunyashov and George Basiladze primarily as a crypto digital wallet. Not long after, it started to issue debit cards that could be loaded using crypto.
Besides a plastic card, one can generate a Cryptopay virtual card that they can use to shop online.
The cryptocurrencies you can use to load the Cryptopay debit card include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple.
The Cryptopay debit card is shipped to over a hundred countries. On the African continent, the card is shipped to Reunion, Seychelles, and South Africa.
Monolith crypto debit card is an additional feature to the Monolith digital wallet. It is designed to enable crypto enthusiasts to spend ETH and other digital assets on the Ethereum blockchain.
It is the only Ethereum focused debit card that is actively shipped to the African continent. However, only residents of Ghana and Reunion can apply for the debit card.
Cards available in Reunion
Réunion Island is a French department or region located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa.
With a population of slightly under a million, this island has the highest number of crypto debit cards available to residents of a region in Africa.
The crypto debit cards you can apply for and have delivered to Réunion include Coinbase, Spectrocoin, Tap Global, Monolith, Change, Eidoo, and Binance.
As more Africans embrace cryptocurrencies and awareness grows, more crypto debit card options, including indigenous ones, could become available. The cards make joining the crypto revolution a little easier as users can use their assets whenever they need to without going through numerous hoops.