Visa Disables Bitcoin Debit Cards, Issuers Scramble to Reassure Customers

Visa has terminated its partnership with WaveCrest, a Gibraltar-based digital payment processing company. In turn, this has essentially disabled Bitcoin and cryptocurrency debit cards.

A WaveCrest representative stated, “We deeply regret the inconvenience that this has caused to all of our customers affected by this decision.”

Several of major debit card service providers have been affected, including Bitwala, Xapo, BitPay, TenX,, and Cryptopay.

These crypto debit card service providers that once allowed users to make payments and ATM withdrawals using their cryptocurrency were suspended on Jan. 5.

Currently, crypto companies are frantically working towards an alternative to return the funds to their users.

“We can confirm that WaveCrest’s Visa membership is being terminated due to non-compliance with our operating rules. All WaveCrest-issued Visa card programmes will be closed as a result,” Visa said in a statement.

“The termination of WaveCrest’s Visa membership does not affect other Visa issuers’ card programmes, including those using fiat funds converted from cryptocurrency.”

This abrupt termination of partnership between Visa and WaveCrest led to the prompt closure of cryptocurrency debit card services provided by many companies in the cryptocurrency sector.

Other cryptocurrency debit card service providers provided similar statements, reassuring users that they will seek out alternative ways to continue debit card services to users.

“Following an announcement from our card issuer on behalf of Visa Europe, Bitwala cards are taken out of operation starting today,” Bitwala said in a statement.

“Our team is holding an emergency meeting to resolve the issue with the card holders’ best interest in mind and will make an update shortly.”

No influence

Since Visa’s termination, the premise is simple: Whoever can build a stable, reliable blockchain infrastructure that can compete at the levels of Visa and MasterCard can be a very substantial player in the global economy.

The Visa and WaveCrest disaster has displayed to the users and investors within the cryptocurrency market are not solely dependent on a single company or service provider to maintain its user base and user activity.

In result, the Visa/WaveCrest fiasco is not likely to impact the cryptocurrency sector and companies within it at a large scale. Visa’s termination of cryptocurrency debit card services, for instance, has not influenced the price of Bitcoin.