There has been a lot of talk about whether or not Uber is suddenly accepting Bitcoin payments in Argentina. One of the company’s tweets seemed to indicate this change, albeit any official reference to has been removed ever since. Moreover, there was an email sent out to Xapo users further confirming using Bitcoin through Uber Argentina.
For quite some time now, people have been wondering if and when Uber would start accepting Bitcoin payments. Considering how this ride-hailing application automatically bills clients once their ride has been completed, Bitcoin integration seemed rather difficult. But Xapo, a company known for their Bitcoin web wallet and debit card service, appears to state otherwise.
Xapo Cards Work With Uber
One thing most people are aware of is how very few Argentines have access to a credit card. Moreover, the users who do so may have noticed their card is not compatible with the Uber service. Xapo cards, on the other hand, can be used with Uber from now on, giving Bitcoin users indirect access to the ride-hailing service.
Apparently, the company has secured a partnership with Uber Argentina to allow for this type of functionality. Additionally, Uber users will receive special discounts once they added their Xapo card to the Uber app. For example, customers can use the “UBERconBTC” to receive 100 free pesos, which can be used for their first Uber ride.
Interestingly enough, the Argentinian government has not been too keen on letting individuals use their credit card with the Uber service. Things have gotten to a point where no Argentinian credit cards are accepted within the application itself. Since Xapo cards are not issued by a bank in Argentina, users can bypass these restrictions with relative ease.
Not A Perfect Solution
This shows off the strength of Bitcoin compared to the centralized banking system. Since there is no to control Bitcoin, blocking the payment method is very difficult. Especially when an intermediary service such as Xapo is being used. For the time being, it remains to be seen how long this “trick” will continue to work, though.
It is important to keep in mind Uber Argentina is not actively endorsing Bitcoin payments at this stage. The company does acknowledge using Bitcoin through a Xapo debit card providers a way to access the service. Moreover, users are still required to use two different third-party services to make this work, which is not ideal. But in the end, it is another use case for Bitcoin, albeit not in its pure and decentralized form.
Header image courtesy of Uber