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Crypto Down; Coinbase Launches Crypto-enabled Debit Card

Investing.com - Major cryptocurrencies were trading in the red on Thursday morning in Asia, but Bitcoin still remained above the $5,000 level despite the bearish sentiment.

Bitcoin slid merely 0.01% to $5,165.5 by 12:26 PM ET (04:26 AM GMT). It had been above the $5,000 level since it suddenly rallied on April 1.

Ethereum lost 4.28% to $169.67, XRP dropped 5.56% to $0.33358 and Litecoin went 2.25% lower to $87.453.

The crypto market cap dropped further to $179.7 billion from $181 billion the day before.

Digital coins are on their way to wider adoption, as crypto exchange Coinbase launched a debit card in the U.K. to allow customers to pay with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

The Coinbase Card is a contactless Visa (NYSE:V) debit card and it syncs directly with a user’s Coinbase account. Coinbase U.K. CEO Zeeshan Feroz told CNBC that customers can use the debit card at any retailer around the world that accepts the card.

“There’s a real advantage in actually being able to deposit crypto and interact with crypto because the crypto ecosystem is so much more than the investment aspect,” Feroz said.

Coinbase is one of the many fintech companies that are striving to promote crypto payments. U.K. firm Revolut and U.S. firm Square (NYSE:SQ) both offer crypto trading on their platforms, and social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is reportedly working on a digital token to be used on messaging app WhatsApp.

In Asia, Japan’s Financial Services Agency is urged to see Bitcoin differently, at least not as a virtual currency. The news garnered some attention in the crypto space on Thursday morning.

At the 41st General Assembly of the Financial Council and the 29th Financial Division Meeting, Professor Iwashita Goto of the Public Policy Graduate School of Kyoto University said Bitcoin has grown to pass a means of transacting due to its borderless qualities.

“I don't think it would be worthwhile to call Bitcoin a virtual currency,” he said. “Bitcoin is simply not something that I know well but it’s going to go up, it’s not an asset, but there’s an illusion that something is being used here as a currency, and it goes up, as a result, I feel like there is such an actual situation.”

It is not immediately known what implications this commentary would bring. But Goto’s remark came at a time when Japan is trying to formalize its domestic cryptocurrency industry. The financial regulators have begun to issue licenses to new crypto exchanges.

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