After Angering Bitcoin Crowd With Debit Card Fees, Xapo Talks Back

After promising the official release of Bitcoin-based debit cards, Xapo became a crypto-currency darling. Sadly, however, the bloom went off the rose once users received word that their debit cards, connected to Xapo bitcoin wallets, would incur a number of transaction fees.

Now the company, run by Wences Casares, is taking to its blog to explain the terms. They write:

a one-time fee of US$15 in connection with ordering the card. That is still the case. Users who order the debit card will be charged US$15. This amount will be debited from your Xapo Wallet in bitcoins.
We do not, however, intend to charge monthly fees or fees for everyday spending. If our users are charged a monthly service fee, Xapo will reimburse that amount in bitcoins. So, if you use the Xapo Debit Card and are charged a monthly service fee by our third party provider, we will directly reimburse your Xapo Wallet.

The original issue came up when company posted a fees schedule imposed by their debit card partner. This included a monthly fee as well as a surprisingly high ATM fees ranging from $3.50 to $4.50. However, there are no fees for debit card use.

“When we announced the card, we indicated that the card would not work at ATMs, so we didn’t address ATM fees. We have worked hard to make this functionality available for the Xapo Debit Card, but there are charges associated with ATM usage, similar to ATM fees currently associated with your bank-issued debit card,” the company wrote.

The company is charging users $15 to receive their debit card and is now shipping them after months of delays. The company, founded April, was the first major, well-funded bitcoin organization to offer debit cards and the Internet rejoiced. However, thanks to a mix of impatience, incomplete information, and poor communication on Xapo’s part, the rejoicing is decidedly muted online these days as the company struggles to please cryptofans.