Binance to end Europe card services as non-custodial options pop up

About 1% of Binance users are impacted by the Europe card shutdown slated for December, company says


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Binance is set to discontinue its card services in Europe amid the recent emergence of other crypto cards in the market.

On its website Friday, the crypto exchange noted it would shut down its Visa debit cards in the European Economic Area (EEA) on Dec. 20.

Certain rival exchanges appear set to continue offering card services, while others have designed “non-custodial” options to limit third-party risk.

The Binance Visa card launched in Europe in September 2020. It has allowed residents of the continent to convert and spend crypto in more than 60 million online and physical stores, according to the company.

Powered by Swipe, the card is linked to a card wallet within a user’s Binance account. Instead of holding fiat, it holds digital assets such as bitcoin (BTC), BNB, and BUSD

“Although Binance users from around the world have enjoyed using Card to make day-to-day payments with crypto assets, only around 1% of our users are impacted by this change,” a Binance spokesperson told Blockworks in an email. “Binance accounts are unaffected and will continue to operate as usual.”

A spokesperson for Visa did not immediately return requests for further comment. 

This upcoming card shutdown comes after Binance paused new Visa card applications for the EEA in July, a spokesperson previously told Blockworks.

Mastercard was set to shut down its card pilot program with Binance in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Bahrain last month. 

The two companies had made a deal to bring the card to Argentina in August 2022 before launching a card in Brazil in January. 

Binance has said that users can shop with and send crypto at certain merchants using Binance Pay, which it describes as “a contactless, borderless and secure cryptocurrency payment technology” designed by the exchange. 

But some, after seeing the collapse of FTX last year, might opt for new crypto card offerings not linked to a centralized exchange.  

The US Securities and Exchange Commission sued Binance in June for allegedly mishandling customer funds and failing to register under securities laws. The regulator also sued crypto exchange Coinbase for alleged securities violations. The exchanges have denied wrongdoing in those ongoing suits. 

Non-custodial crypto cards — launched by companies such as Wirex, Gnosis and Suberra over the past year — are designed to eliminate third-party risk and give account owners exclusive control over their funds.

Read more: Non-custodial crypto cards proliferate as part of wider industry trend

Coinbase continues to offer its card services in the European Union and the US, allowing holders to spend crypto US dollars wherever Visa cards are, in an X post Monday, said it was offering $50 of Cronos (CRO) and a bonus 1% rebate on spending for users who sign up and apply for a Visa Card.

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