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Oprah is absolutely shook about becoming an exhibit at a Smithsonian museum … as you’re about to see in this video. Seriously, it’s “everybody gets a car” level excitement! The TV queen spoke to Adam Glyn Tuesday in NYC, where he…
Amber Rose avoided a massive brawl in Washington D.C. Sunday where a man got knocked the hell out in the street and was struck by a car. The melee went down at Decades DC, where Amber was the star of the event. Our photog says…
European cryptocurrency holders have reason to be cheerful. Slowly but surely it’s becoming easier to spend BTC, BCH, and a range of other cryptos throughout the continent, with payment services like Wirex and Paytomat leading the charge. It’s now possible to spend bitcoin in hundreds of restaurants and stores throughout Eastern Europe, as well as anywhere that accepts Visa in the whole of mainland Europe and the UK.
Wirex Rolls Out Its New Crypto Debit Cards
When crypto debit cards were cancelled in Europe last year, with a Visa subsidiary to blame, tens of thousands of cryptocurrency holders were left clutching worthless pieces of plastic. But as crypto companies have forged new alliances with payment processors, crypto debit cards have started to return, and hopefully this time they’re here to stay. In the past two weeks, Wirex has begun dispatching physical cards to UK and mainland European customers who were on its waiting list. News.Bitcoin.com had a chance to put one of the cards to the test, topping it up with BTC and then spending it in-store and online, and was impressed with the results.
A full review of the Wirex crypto debit card follows below, after a quick look at what Paytomat have been up to. The cryptocurrency payment system supports 11 cryptos including bitcoin cash and zencash, and has support from over 330 restaurants and stores at present, mostly in Eastern Europe. It’s since expanded into Western Europe, however, with a launch that took place in an Amsterdam soup kitchen earlier this month.
Paytomat CEO Yurii Olentir said: “Amsterdam is one of the most crypto-friendly places, so we chose it for our kick-off in Western Europe. With millions of tourists visiting every month, cryptocurrencies can be a very convenient payment method. For example, a transaction in Bitcoin Cash takes just a couple of seconds and the fee is miniscule.”
In total, Paytomat supports BCH, ZEN, XEM, DASH, WAVES, LTC, ETH, NANO, DCR, XZC and BTC, and as a video demonstration shows, paying for a meal with bitcoin cash is quick and easy:
A Quick Look at the Wirex Crypto Card in Action
I applied for a Wirex card weeks ago, and succeeded after several failed attempts at address verification. At one point I feared I was never going to convince their KYC I lived where I claimed to live, but a stamped bank confirmation letter finally did the trick. The team’s customer support was helpful throughout, to their credit. Last week, Wirex announced that its cards were finally ready to ship. Mine arrived in a beautifully packaged sleeve that folds out to reveal the slogan “The most versatile payments card in the world” accompanied by a heart emoji face.
If I thought the presentation was good, the activation turned out to be even slicker. With the Wirex app already installed on my phone, all I had to do was hold the card in proximity to the device and the NFC chip automatically extracted the last four digits of the card and the CVV number. I clicked the verification email link and that was it: my card was good to go. Wirex accepts BTC and LTC, but no BCH or ETH unfortunately. Hopefully they’ll add more cryptocurrency support in due course. For now, I fired over some BTC, and not long afterward a notification informed me that my coins had arrived.
A Few Hiccups, But Otherwise Impressive
For users who don’t already have cryptocurrency to hand, Wirex enables you to top up your card using your existing bank account; transfers reportedly clear within a few hours. With my BTC loaded, I tried to transfer the balance to GBP so I could spend it, but accidentally swapped into LTC instead; the process is a little confusing. At the second time of asking, I worked out how to complete the swap, and within seconds my litecoin had been exchanged for British pounds. My daughter had been pestering me to buy more reading credits for her iOS app, and so my first £10 of crypto went on purchasing virtual gems.
I planned to test the card at a restaurant next, but when it came to pay the bill realized that I didn’t know the PIN for the Wirex card, and was forced to use an alternate method to settle up. Back home, I searched through every submenu of the Wirex mobile app and desktop platform to find where the PIN number was located. I got there, eventually, though it wasn’t intuitive at all. This minor grumble aside, the card works perfectly, and there’s even 0.5% in cashback to be earned on all purchases – paid in BTC.
Naturally, Wirex make their cut in terms of the exchange rate you’re offered every time you switch from fiat to crypto and vice-versa. This is still preferable to having to cash out crypto through Localbitcoins.com or similar every time you need to spend money in the “real world.” On first impressions, the Wirex card looks very good. My only concern is that now my kids and girlfriend have a direct line to my bitcoin, I fear for my crypto.
Do you use a crypto debit card and if so what’s your experience of it? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wirex, and Paytomat.
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The post Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Food-focused talk show The Chew is getting spit off the air to make way for a third hour of Good Morning America , ABC announced Wednesday, though that hour is actually in the afternoon. It will air at 1pm Eastern, with the anchors to be announced in the future, reports the…
A sinkhole has appeared on the White House lawn, causing headaches for groundskeepers and giving the current occupant’s critics an irresistible metaphor. The Washington Post reports that the sinkhole was first spotted last week on the North Lawn, yards away from the White House press briefing office and the office…
Hugh Grant is getting married, and the name of his future spouse won’t be a surprise to his Hollywood fans. No, not Liz Hurley. The 57-year-old Grant will wed Swedish TV producer Anna Eberstein, 39, who is mother to three of his five children, reports the BBC . Their first child…
Elon Musk was not wearing his poker face Saturday night in WeHo, when our photog asked about the possibility of Donald Trump getting a Nobel Peace Price. The undeniably brilliant Musk had trouble processing the concept of Trump snagging such an…
Blockchain conference season is here, the industry’s equivalent of Hollywood’s awards season. It’s an opportunity for crypto celebs to tread the red carpet and for everyone from minnows to whales to mingle, network, and learn. But if you’re not careful, it’s also a chance to get your devices pwned and your cryptocurrency swiped.
May Is the Month for Blockchain Conferences
There are cryptocurrency conferences all through the year, but May is when they reach their zenith. Last weekend saw Futurama in Dubai, a glitzy event whose guests included Brock Pierce and whose closing party took place on a yacht in the Gulf. Next week it’s the turn of Consensus NYC, the industry’s largest event that will welcome 7,000 attendees and hundreds of delegates.
The cumulative value of the portfolios swilling around inside New York’s Hilton Midtown will comfortably run into the billions of dollars. The vast majority of that wealth will have been left at home on hardware devices and paper wallets stashed in secure vaults, but that doesn’t mean attendees will be immune from thieves.
For one thing, you probably have more of your crypto holdings on an exchange, readily accessible via the 2FA app in your pocket, than you’d care to admit. And for another, hackers don’t have to strike at the event. They can phish or social engineer now and strike later when you’re on the other side of the world, or when you’re on the long-haul flight home and unaware that your SIM card has just been swapped.
Keep Calm and Be Prepared
The first rule when attending any public conference, especially one as high profile as Consensus, is to avoid insecure wifi networks. How do you know if a network’s insecure? You probably don’t, which is why you’re best relying on mobile data only. That wifi point named after the conference you’re attending could just as easily be a honeypot.
If you must connect via wifi while at the conference or your hotel, be sure to use a VPN. In addition, keep your cellphone’s bluetooth and NFC turned off and don’t plug it into a USB point to charge. You don’t know what’s on the other end of that cable, and while it could be innocuous, it could just as easily be extracting your data.
Be Careful What You Share and Who You Share It With
The best thing about blockchain conferences isn’t the panel discussions and it certainly isn’t the ICO pitches. No, the best part is the after-parties. All those networking opportunities and chances to bump fists with crypto bros you’ve previously only known as an avatar in a Telegram group. Some words of caution are necessary though.
Literally anyone can whip together a business card purporting to be an investor or OTC broker, pull on an expensive shirt, and extend a firm handshake. Due to the public nature of crypto conferences, there is no means of vetting participants, and no easy means of telling who’s legit and who’s a snake. That ICO whale who’s befriended you and returned to your room for drinks could be the real deal…or they could just be waiting for an opportunity to slip something in your vodka and pilfer your laptop once you’ve passed out.
Crypto People Are Good People
This advice isn’t intended to be alarmist. Crypto people are some of the friendliest and most generous people you could ever hope to meet IRL (the less said about their Twitter personas the better). Provided you follow basic op-sec, you will be able to relax at the conference, enjoy yourself, and forge friendships that will last for years. Be careful, though, not to brag about gains, share portfolios, or engage in any other behavior that could mark you out as a target.
If possible, leave your primary laptop and smartphone at home and travel with a burner. That way, whatever happens, you’ll wake up regretting nothing more than that last shot of tequila. Be discrete, conceal your wealth, and remember that there’s no such thing as free wifi. Do all that and you’ll be sure to have a ball.
What other precautions do you think conference delegates should take? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.
The post How to Survive a Blockchain Conference Without Getting Hacked appeared first on Bitcoin News.