Credit cards can no longer be used to buy cryptocurrencies and other forms of Bitcoin. UK’s Lloyds Banking Group Plc, responsible for issuing more than a quarter of Britain’s credit cards, have halted transactions customers have made in purchasing cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, Virgin Money has announced that it would prohibit their credit card customers from similarly buying digital currencies. Their action was prompted by a move made by American banking giants Citigroup, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase wherein all three banks have blocked any transactions customers have made to popular cryptocurrency marketplaces. The move is designed to protect customers from incurring a large debt from purchasing digital currencies. Banks are afraid that a plummeting digital currency would disallow customers to repay back their debts.
However, not all UK credit cards are prohibited from buying cryptocurrencies. A spokesperson for Barclays, the leading issuer of credit cards in Britain, has declared that their company is always reviewing protections for their customers’ benefit. She explained, “We constantly review our protections for customers as a responsible bank and lender, and are keeping this matter under close review.” She added, “At present UK customers can use both their Barclays debit card and Barclaycard credit card to purchase cryptocurrency legitimately.”
BBVA, the second biggest bank in Spain, provided zero restrictions on customers who wanted to make cryptocurrency purchases.
Mastercard, the second biggest payments network in the world, saw a one percentage point increase in the volumes of overseas transaction when customers purchased cryptocurrencies via their credit cards during the fourth quarter of 2017. It is during this same period when Bitcoin enjoyed a $19,187 rise in its value on the Bitstamp exchange.
Virtual currency sellers are working on advising customers of such changes. They will be similarly suggesting that customers connect a debit card to their accounts in order to make the process of buying and selling digital currencies easier.