What cryptocurrencies can you spend using the Coinbase Visa debit card, and does it make sense to spend them?

Launched in April, the Coinbase debit card allows European users to spend their crypto anywhere by swiping a card. Recently, they’ve been adding more and more crypto assets to pay with, and today, they listed the first stablecoin.

Crypto assets compatible with the Coinbase debit card

Bitcoin, the asset that everyone complains about not being able to spend, but probably shouldn’t be spending. Spending Bitcoin is like spending gold, it’s meant to be a store of value more than a medium of exchange.

Augur, also known as REP. This is a utility coin for a site that where you can gamble on things like ‘Will Trudeau still win the next election?” as if it were a derivative product. It’s been around for a while and claims to be “decentralized.”

Ethereum, the coin with the second highest market cap. Potentially analogous to Amazon in the dot com bubble, Ethereum is also subjectively likely to perform well. I wouldn’t buy coffee with it, but I do use it to pay for gas when wandering about the DeFi ecosystem.

Litecoin, one of the best possible names to help market an asset that is faster than Bitcoin. People with a limited understanding of the blockchain world know that Bitcoin is the O.G., Ethereum is supposed to be better than Bitcoin and Litecoin is fast. Ironically, Litecoin being fast is supposed to make people want to spend it without needing a central intermediary (like Coinbase).

Bitcoin Cash, or BCH. Again, aren’t you supposed to supposed to be able to spend this stuff without an intermediary? lol.

XRP, built by Ripple. Tons of huge corporations use Ripple for things like inventory management, but the price of XRP just never seems to go up. I guess this is one that you would want to spend?

ZRX, or 0x is a liquidity tool for Ethereum’s DeFi ecosystem. Developers admitted that their business model hasn’t worked out in the past, but they hope to change things with new updates. Right now it’s worth 20 cents, but with the hype around DeFi and how much decentralized exchanges need a liquidity solution, its future looks promising.

XLM, Stellar’s utility token, is required for every transaction in the network. Stellar is a cross border payment solution whose performance isn’t reflected by its price, much like XRP.

BAT, who hopes to replace the current advertisement business model for websites and content creators. This is actually kind of cool because you can earn it from viewing ads on the Brave Browser. Just a couple hundred minutes of Depends commercials and you can treat yourself to some nice Starbucks.

DAI, last but not least, is a stablecoin that is backed by mostly Ethereum and balanced by an algorithm of incentives. On Maker’s site, you can lock your Ethereum position up in exchange for a DAI loan that is paid back with interest. The Coinbase card is logical for this process. If you are going to spend your DAI loan, this is probably the most efficient way to do it.

Does using the Coinbase debit card make sense? 

If you read the snarky commentary on all of the listed crypto, you’ll have an idea of why spending some crypto might make more sense than spending others. But in reality, spending crypto might not even be the point of this card.

Watching mainstream media cover Bitcoin, you’ll often come across people who ask, “but can you spend it?” Coinbase’s card allows people to answer which is good for the market, and in turn good for Coinbase.

So yes, coins like BAT and DAI actually make sense to spend in certain situations, but the rest are supposed to be investments. If they weren’t supposed to be investments, Coinbase wouldn’t name the place you manage coins, your “portfolio.”