Visa payment service locked down cryptocurrency cards, such as TenX, Wirex, Xapo, Bitwala, and Cryptopay for residents of the European Union.
It became known from the message that the financial institution WaveCrest sent to one of the users who ordered a CryptoCard. "We, WaveCrest, are the issuer of your Visa Prepaid card, which you have enrolled for through one of our program partners. Visa have today instructed us that we must close all WaveCrest issued Visa Prepaid Cards with immediate effect," says the letter.
After the publication of this message, Bitwala confirmed the information about blocking cards. Then, Wirex's official confirmation followed.
Users were not warned about blocking cards in advance. They found it out while being at box offices and restaurants. Also, travelers who had booked hotels with the use of CryptoCards suffered a lot.
Pavel Matveyev, founder of Wirex, said that blocking was a surprise, but back in August, after Visa cryptocurrency cards stopped working for all users, except for EU residents, Wirex started looking for a new issuer instead of WaveCrest. "We have already found a financial institution to work with, but the process of its integration takes much time. After a few weeks, this issue will be resolved, and cards will be available again for users of the United States, Europe, Singapore, and Japan."
User accounts are not blocked, and they can still transfer cryptocurrency or pay online, but it is still impossible to withdraw cash or pay for goods. Besides, the issuance of new CryptoCards is suspended.
CryptoCards remain unavailable for Russian users. "We can't start production of CryptoCards in Russia, because the cryptocurrency status is not defined here. When the situation changes and Russian banks realize that it is possible to interact with cryptocurrencies, we will seek partners," Matveyev stated.
Not all operators that have cooperated with the WaveCrest confirmed reports about blocking, but a significant number of user comments on Twitter demonstrates the major scale of the problem.