Another month – another shut down: Coinbase is repealing Shift Card services


Coinbase has been known as one of the most popular crypto exchange hubs. It was establishing experimental projects, as well as including new cryptocurrencies in its listing before anyone else even noticed those new coins. Back when Coinbase adopted ZRX, the crypto community was quite surprised. As the coin was not that big of a deal back then. Thus, it was weird when the platform included that coins after it was only operating with such crypto giants like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, etc.

Therefore, that is not a rare phenomenon for the company to surprise the community with the news that people were not ready for. That is exactly what happened quite recently.  

Shift Card services shut down

Not that long ago all users of the platform received an email stating that Coinbase partner, Shift Card, that was providing the debit card services, has decided to shut down and stop serving the platform users. The debit cards will be valid until April 2019, so users can still use it until then.

That announcement was first met with a certain portion of doubt and concern, as it was published as a screenshot by one of the users. The message was saying that all Shift Cards will be officially deactivated on April 11th, 2019.

However, there were absolutely no reasons for that mentioned. Still, users are kept in the dark. Thus, we can only guess what was the real ‘push’ for the company to shut down debit cards services.

How it all started and where did it lead?

The agreement between Coinbase and Shift Payment was issued in November 2015. Soon after that, the Shift Card was implemented into the platform’s operations. The card was managed by Metropolitan Commercial Bank and was valid within both Visa and MasterCard payment networks.

Do you remember the boom of the cryptocurrency in 2017? Well, right after that, the service was included in the operations of dozens of companies. And it might be considered as successful, as no issues were reported neither by users or developers of those platforms.

What might be the reasons to shut down?

As mentioned before, the company did not explain any reasons for shut down of the service. Therefore, we might only guess what actually happened. We have two theories.

First theory

MasterCard and Visa payment networks are planning to increase the transaction fees on the territory of the United States. Thus, the company could have decided that it is unworthy to continue providing the service.

Second theory

Another reason might be a lack of trust for the cryptocurrency nature. Meaning that even though the cryptocurrency might be quite convenient for the day-to-day operation and payments, the whole concept of those is still the subject of numerous debates and skepticism. Thus, crypto being volatile, makes it unsafe to use the debit card payment system while providing transactions with them.

Any compensation for the inconvenience?

Coinbase is cautious about the convenience and sense of comfort of the platform users. Thus, after they have announced that they are shutting down the Shift Card service, the company decided to follow up with the extensions in other business areas instead.

Therefore, soon enough, users of the platform will enjoy the newly-implemented cloud backup a support for private keys, as well as support system for the clients in Asia and Europe. Apart from that, Coinbase starts introducing the new tax filing support, TurboTax, that would allow users to issue crypto trades on their taxes.

Giorgi is a news reporter and financial analyst at He has 3 years of experience in analyzing the financial markets of Forex and cryptocurrencies. He also likes making hidden jokes in his articles.