Despite the plummeting prices, buying your way into the world of cryptocurrencies is getting easier every day.
Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, announced on Thursday it now supports purchases via credit and debit cards.
Visa and Mastercard are currently supported, and users can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and XRP. To do so, go here, choose the coin, enter the amount of coins you want to buy, enter your credit card details and you're ready to trade those with the 150 coins and tokens supported by Binance.
The payments are processed by a third-party payments service Simplex. The service works in the U.S. with the exclusion of six states: NY, CT, HI, GA, NM and WA. The list of restricted countries is fairly small, but it does include some banks in China. For a full list, go here.
“Partnering with Simplex allows us to instantly bridge the gap between credit card payments and crypto for traders globally. On Binance.com, you can now buy crypto with credit cards and start trading in minutes, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, said in a statement.
While convenient, directly purchasing cryptocurrencies with a credit or debit card is typically not the cheapest way to do it, and it seems that Binance's new service is no exception. Right now, the price of Bitcoin is a little over $3,462 according to CoinMarketCap, but Binance's price is $4,662, with an additional 3.5% fee (or $10, whichever's higher) per transaction.
Binance is a strictly crypto-to-crypto exchange, meaning it doesn't offer trading pairs for fiat currencies, and you can't even send fiat to the exchange (though the company did recently launch separate fiat-to-crypto exchanges for specific markets — Binance Jersey lets you buy crypto with pounds and euros, and Binance Uganda with Ugandan shillings). This makes the credit and debit card crypto purchases the only direct fiat gateway for the largest cryptocurrency exchange out there, and I reckon there will be plenty of users despite the unfavorable exchange rate.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.