U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase now offers a way for customers to purchase retail goods and services using crypto assets, thanks to a new partnership with a digital gift card startup.
According to a report from Bloomberg on Wednesday, Coinbase has integrated its wallet services with WeGift, a London-based online gift card platform, and now allows users to purchase gift cards with cryptocurrency stored in their Coinbase wallets. Currently, the exchange supports bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin and ethereum, with more likely to be added soon.
Based on information provided by WeGift's website, gift cards purchased by cryptocurrencies can be used in over 120 retailers that accept WeGift, including Tesco, M&S, Uber, Carrefour, Google Play and Costa.
The service is so far only available in the U.K., France, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy.
In 2013, Coinbase also partnered with a New York-based digital gift card firm called eGifter to offer crypto gift cards.
The move comes just months after the exchange secured an e-money license authorized by U.K. markets watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority. As previously reported by CoinDesk, the license gave the company the ability to provide payment services and issue digital cash alternatives in the country, which can then be used to make card, internet or phone payments.
Coinbase image via Shutterstock
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.