- Exceptional level of security.
- Reputable company backed by a large amount of venture capital cash.
- The site is easy to navigate, and the debit card is user-friendly.
- Shipping fees are rather expensive.
- There is a fairly strict online and POS transaction limit for unverified users.
- Their level of customer service leaves a lot to be desired.
If you have any interest in the cryptocurrency markets, you’ll know that Bitcoin is a phenomenon that is increasing in value at warp speed. Other currencies such as Ethereum and Litecoin are following suit. The trouble is, there aren’t many ways to spend this digital currency at the shop. At least, that used to be the case. As cryptocurrency gathers a head of steam, companies like Xapo offer a debit card that allows you to spend Bitcoin like fiat currency. Is it worth your time? Read on to find out.
What is Xapo?
Xapo was formed in April 2014 and is one of the most successful companies in the niche with regards to raising venture capital. To date, it has raised over $40 million of funding from companies such as Index Ventures and Benchmark. While it was founded in San Francisco, Xapo moved its HQ to Zurich in Switzerland. The company’s founders are Federico Murrone and Wences Casares.
As well as offering the standard physical and digital cards, Xapo provides users with a wallet and a vault. As per usual, the digital card can be used immediately while you must wait up to 25 days (depending on where you live) for the physical card. You can speed up the shipping process and have your card in 7 days if you pay $55.
Xapo provides its services to 129 countries around the world including the majority of European nations. To verify your card and increase the limits, provide photo ID and proof of residence.
With the wallet, you can manage your finances from your Smartphone (Android and iOS devices too) or your desktop anytime you wish. Once it is set up, all you need to do is click a button, send an email or swipe your Xapo debit card.
According to Xapo, its vault is like a ‘fortress,’ and it has been described as the ‘Fort Knox of Bitcoin storage’ by The Wall Street Journal. It uses a three-layer security system:
Here is a list of Xapo’s fees which vary depending on which of the three currencies you use:
Another plus point is the lack of an annual fee. You are also charged a flat fee of 1% for Bitcoin conversion.
Here is the list of limits; note the significant difference between ‘Standard’ and ‘Upgraded’ Limits.
What Is Xapo Like To Use?
We have no complaints about the website design. It is neat and easy to find whatever you’re looking for with clear yet concise descriptions of all Xapo’s features. As it uses offline servers that are never connected to the Internet, it provides an enhanced layer of security compared to many of its rivals.
Xapo also claims to work hard to provide a high level of customer support; you can get in touch with the company via Facebook, Twitter, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, during our research, we did find some complaints from users who believe that Xapo’s customer support team is too difficult to reach.
For example, they may respond within an hour, but it could take several days to find a solution to your problem. We have heard stories of people who were using the Xapo card while travelling only to discover that their card was blocked at the ATM. Slow customer support meant these individuals were stranded unless they had back up cash or a traditional debit/credit card.
First and foremost, registering and using the Xapo debit card is easy, and the card works as well as advertised. Perhaps the most important aspect of any company in this niche is its trustworthiness as there are quite a large number of disreputable firms in operation.
We are satisfied that Xapo is a legitimate organisation as it has a positive reputation in the industry. At the time of writing, its HQ is in Hong Kong, but it has offices in several cities around the world. As your Bitcoin isn’t online, it is safe; indeed, we believe that Xapo offers one of the most secure forms of storage in the industry.