Several Bitcoin debit cards services are suspending payments due to Visa’s new restrictions on its Gibraltar-based issuer WaveCrest. Bitwala and Cryptopay have joined Wirex and TenX in stopping services to users, who were assured that they will get their funds back.
Several operators have reported receiving emails from WaveCrest informing them that they had to close all WaveCrest debit cards with immediate effect. VISA said that it has terminated WaveCrest’s services due to non-compliance with its membership regulations, and that all of its Visa card programmes will be closed as a result.
The email from WaveCrest reads:
“We, WaveCrest, are the issuer of your Visa Prepaid card, which you have enrolled for through one of our program partners. Visa have today instructed us that we must close all WaveCrest issued Visa Prepaid Cards with immediate effect.”
“Unfortunately, our card issuer instructed us to cease all Cryptopay prepaid cards starting January 5th, 2018. All funds stored on cards are safe and will be returned to your Cryptopay accounts ASAP. Sorry for all the inconvenience caused, we’re working on the solution,” Cryptopay said on Twitter.
Germany-based Bitwala announced a similar suspension on Friday: It noted: “Following an announcement from our card issuer on behalf of Visa Europe, Bitwala cards are taken out of operation starting today. Our team is holding an emergency meeting to resolve the issue with the card holders best interest in mind and will make an update shortly.”
Bitcoin card provider BitPay was also affected, telling customers in an email: “We are already in discussions with potential alternative issuers for the BitPay Card which will allow us to serve customers in Europe and beyond.”
WaveCrest’s crypto debit cards are like regular debit cards, but instead of pulling from a bank account, the user pulls from a cryptocurrency wallet.