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With more and more people and institutions adopting cryptocurrency for storing wealth and making transactions, you might be wondering if crypto will eventually replace credit cards to pay for purchases. Here are some quick thoughts on the topic.
Crypto is Legal Tender in Some Places
In the United States, you might see Bitcoin ATMs at certain stores or gas stations. However, you still cannot pay your utility bills or most purchases with cryptocurrency.
The transaction fees can be high but credit processing fees are approximately 3%. Plus, many people buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, or another altcoin to make investment gains.
In the United States, it’s still more common to pay for purchases with US dollars (fiat currency) with a credit card that earns Bitcoin rewards.
However, nations like El Salvador and Ukraine now recognize Bitcoin as legal currency. Instead of paying with paper money, you might use crypto instead as it can be more valuable due to local economic conditions.
Cross-Border Payments Can Be Easier
American Express CEO Stephen Squeri isn’t concerned about people using cryptocurrency to cover daily expenses or book expensive trips.
However, Squeri says that digital currencies can make cross-border payments easier. You don’t have to worry about fiat currency exchange rates and processing times.
In his opinion, the best rewards credit cards still provide better rewards and banking services. You can also dispute charges as crypto-based transactions lack similar purchase protection benefits.
Credit Card Issuers Start Accepting Crypto
Visa and Mastercard are partnering with various cryptocurrency exchanges to settle credit card and debit card transactions with crypto instead of fiat.
Instead of being driven out of business, it appears that credit card issuers are trying to adopt cryptocurrency and give consumers and merchants multiple payment options.
Whether you want to pay in dollars, loonies, pesos, euros, or satoshis, your credit card might let you pay with cash or crypto without hefty fees.
For example, you might be able to use stablecoins, like the USD Coin or Gemini Dollar, to pay for purchases instead of converting your crypto position into US dollars first.
Stablecoins have a 1:1 exchange rate with fiat money, like the US dollar. They also lack the price chart volatility that traditional cryptocurrencies have where you might see the market value of Bitcoin (or your favorite crypto) go up or down 5% to 10% in a single day.
The cryptocurrency movement is still relatively new. Because of that, we may see more credit cards offering cryptocurrency rewards and payment options. However, you don’t have to worry that your favorite travel credit card or cash back credit card will stop working anytime soon due to the crypto revolution.