Austrian bitcoin exchange launches prepaid vouchers for cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin, ethereum, dash and litecoin to be sold at 1800 post offices across Austria

Austrian bitcoin exchange launches prepaid vouchers for cryptocurrencies

Austrian bitcoin broker Bitpanda has launched a new initiative that will allow people purchase bitcoin, ethereum, dash and litecoin at more than 1800 post offices across the country, Bitcoin.com has reported.

The company, which was founded in 2014 as Coinimal, earlier this week announced that it had partnered with Austria’s leading postal service provider, Austrian Post, which has more than 1,800 postal branches and partners throughout Austria, according to its website. The partnership allows customers to buy Bitpanda paper vouchers in denominations of 50, 100 or 500 euros. Each voucher comes with a code, which customers can redeem for their choice of the four cryptocurrencies on the broker’s website.

Bitpanda has implemented three verification levels - starter, bronze, and gold – with a fourth level, silver, to be added soon. Only the starter level is needed to redeem vouchers, which only requires an email address to verify. The verification level of each account also determine “how many bitcoins you can buy/sell each day”, with higher levels leading to higher limits, the company explained.

Bitpanda believes that the service, called “Bitpanda to go”, will increase both its user base as well as its transaction volume.

The Vienna-based company is not the first to offer physically-sold redeemable vouchers. French bitcoin broker Bitit last year launched prepaid gift cards that work in a similar way as Bitpanda’s vouchers. According to the exchange, the cards are now part of a network of physical gift cards that are sold at over 150,000 locations across Europe. Similar programmes have also been launched in Switzerland, South Korea and Canada.

Such initiatives could help cryptocurrencies become more mainstream, by making them more accessible to a larger pool of potential buyers. Bitit’s CEO said last year that with the launch of the gift cards, his company aimed to “democratise Bitcoin for all”.

“Bitcoin is a really great technology. But the problem for now is that it is complicated and difficult for people to access,” he said at the time.

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