Wallet provider Ledger launches crypto debit card

The new crypto debit card supports several leading digital assets, including Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, Litecoin and USD Coin.

Cryptocurrency wallet and infrastructure provider Ledger has debuted a new debit card that enables users to buy goods and services with their digital assets, potentially opening the door to wider adoption of crypto payment services. 

The Crypto Life card, also known as “CL,” was introduced at Ledger’s biannual Op3n conference on Thursday. The debit card is linked to Ledger Live, a desktop and mobile application that enables Ledger users to buy, swap and stake cryptocurrencies. The CL card supports several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and stablecoins USD Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT).

Cardholders have the option of instantly converting their crypto into fiat for the purpose of spending as well as obtaining a line of credit using their digital assets as collateral. The latter option gives cardholders the ability to use their debit card without having to sell their crypto. Users can also deposit their paychecks and select which percentage of their income they want to convert into BTC and ETH.

The CL card is set for launch in the first quarter of 2022 for users in the United Kingdom, France and Germany followed by a second-quarter rollout in the United States.

Ledger’s foray into the debit card market follows a strategic pivot into the decentralized finance, or DeFi, market. The company, which is known for its Ledger Nano S and Nano X hardware wallets, concluded a $380 million private financing round in June of this year, bringing its total valuation to $1.5 billion.

Related: Building a path to sustainable finance and blockchain adoption starts with payments

Payments are a highly touted but underutilized use case of the crypto economy. However, that appears to be slowly changing now that major players such as Mastercard have entered the crypto payments landscape. Meanwhile, crypto payments provider BitPay recently entered into a partnership with browser and wallet extension MetaMask to provide a payment gateway to tens of millions of new users.

Coinbase announces support for hardware wallets, starting with Ledger

The partnership will take into effect during the first quarter of 2022, with the Coinbase mobile app planning to also support Ledger down the track.

Major exchange Coinbase has announced it will begin to supporting crypto hardware wallets, starting with Ledger. The two companies made the announcement at the Ledger Open conference, which is taking place in Paris on Dec 9 and 10.

Ledger is a major supplier of cold hardware wallets, which store users’ private keys more securely than hot online wallets.

Users of the Coinbase Wallet browser extension will be able to connect their Ledger hardware wallets, maintaining self-custody and full controlover their assets.

The partnership will be rolled out in phases, starting in the first quarter of 2022. Further down the track, the Coinbase mobile app will also support Ledger hardware wallets.

Max Branzburg, VP of Product at Coinbase said: “we’re excited to share more announcements on how we’re making Coinbase Wallet the safest and most secure way to participate in Web3 over the coming months.”

Coinbase stores 12% of all crypto

Meanwhile, Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas made some big statements in her testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services on Dec 8. She claimed that Coinbase stores about 12% of all crypto across more than 150 asset types and said crypto was moving beyond simple coin swaps.

“Nearly 50% of our transacting customers are doing something other than buying and selling crypto, which indicates to us that crypto is moving beyond its initial investment phase into the long expected utility phase,” she said.

Related: Why hardware wallets might not offer as much protection as you think, explained

Coinbase claims to have over 73 million customers globally, including 10,000 institutions and 185,000 application developers.