With the peso hit by inflation of 3.5% per month and strong restrictions on buying dollars, will it be a good time to incorporate a new currency into the daily expenses of Argentines? Cryptocurrency companies believe that they do and, under different formats, incorporate the possibility of using Bitcoin and other digital currencies to pay for coffee at the bar or supermarket bill, with the advantage of cashback: it returns a part of what was spent. In cryptocurrencies, of course.
The most recent of these options is Lemon Card, the Visa card linked to the Lemon Cash app. How does it work? The wallet is dual, pesos and crypto: that way, the user can choose whether to pay either of the two options. If you decide to pay with any of the cryptocurrencies you have in your wallet, the sale is made immediately at the current price.
The Lemon Card is free, but commissions of 1% are charged to buy cryptocurrencies and 0.5% to sell them. They already have 100,000 users on the waiting list to receive the card and expect to reach 1 million cards distributed in 2022.
Lemon expects to distribute 1 million Visa cards in 2022 and Buenbit forecast to reach 250,000 MasterCards in the first quarter of next year.
Marcelo cavazzoli, founder and CEO of Lemon, told Infobae that the means of payment has “two pillars” with which it hopes to impact: “The first is that every time you buy, We will refund 2% of your purchase in cryptocurrencies. The second pillar is that you can use cryptocurrencies to pay directly, with automatic conversion at checkout.
“We want to fill Argentina with Bitcoin. That 2% cashback is made in Bitcoin, which will make many more familiar with cryptocurrencies. We seek to be the bridge that connects the physical world with the digital, something that previously lived in the cloud, today we were able to materialize it on a card, ”He added.
Another crypto wallet that aims to pay for coffee with cryptocurrencies is Good bit, although he chose another path. Instead of putting together a dual wallet, in the middle of this year signed an alliance with the digital wallet BKR to offer a prepaid Mastercard card. To spend their cryptocurrencies, the user must first sell them for pesos and then charge the card balance, the entire process being within the same application. The Buenbit-BKR card is “contactless”, so to pay it is only necessary to bring it closer to the POS terminal. In purchases of up to $ 8,000, it is not necessary to give the card, or the DNI, or enter a PIN or sign the coupon.
The cashback or return of each purchase is 3%, a point higher than in Lemon, but it is not only in Bitcoin: it is made in different cryptocurrencies in a random way. Buenbit hopes to arrive at 250,000 cards in the first quarter of 2022, about half of all its customers.
“The card was very well received by users, particularly among the most qualified, more accustomed to digital. A refund is always attractive; Even those who have resistance to buying cryptocurrencies, they still want to receive them with each purchase they make, ”he told Infobae Emiliano Limia, spokesperson for Good bit, who highlights that “it is quite common in the world” for cryptocurrency trading platforms to launch products to make payments.
A refund is always attractive; Even those who have resistance to buying cryptocurrencies still want to receive them with each purchase they make (Limia)
The main cryptocurrency platforms globally, such as Coinbase or BinanceThey also have their card to pay, with a refund system included. Both Visa and Mastercard advance all kinds of alliances in this regard throughout the world. The massification of small payments with cryptocurrencies “is imminent” for Cavazzoli: “It is a matter of time, both in Argentina and globally. There are many ways to pay like this. And ours is a good country for the adoption of this habit, since we are at least 4 years ahead in the use of cryptocurrencies in relation to other countries in the region ”.
Cards of this type, in turn, can be loaded into other wallets that allow payments with a QR code, such as Mercado Pago or others. Thus, even without wearing the plastic, there is one more way to use them and take advantage of the cashback.
In Lemon they assure that their own community of users (40% of them are between 18 and 25 years old) asked for tools to increase the “usability” of crypto. The combination they hope is that bitcoins are used to save and any of the stablecoins (DAI, USDT and others tied to the dollar) to spend on a day-to-day basis.
We are at least 4 years ahead of the use of cryptocurrencies in relation to other countries in the region (Cavazzoli)
In the same way, Matias Bari, CEO of SatoshiTango, he told Infobae that the high volatility that cryptocurrencies tend to have can be an obstacle: “For everyday payments, stablecoins they can be an option to operate. At the moment, Bitcoin is not a currency in common use or used as a means of payment. That was a premise of the first years and later it was accommodated as a store of value”.
At the same time, he describes as “a spectacular integration” to link the crypto wallets to a card or a QR code, although he warns that there may be regulatory obstacles. SatoshiTangoFor its part, it relaunched its “killer app” in which it included a unique functionality in the Argentine market that also involves plastics: it allows you to buy crypto and top-up with a credit card.