Expat Life – and Crypto Debit Cards

Expat life is hard. Actually it is not, but the parasitic bureaucrats of this Orwellian world we live in make it hard. And continue to make it harder. 

While any actual decent “terrorist” has bullet-proof, CIA-issued paperwork, while every criminal and professional money launderer, incl. most politicians, can easily circumvent the annoying “know your customer” and “anti money laundering” nonsense, this fascist KYC/AML crap has become a real pain in the ass for regular, harmless people, and a really tough obstacle for expats, digital nomads and others who refuse to live on their assigned tax reservation. 

Crypto currencies make it easier, as they work independently from the corrupt power and money structures, but in real life you still need cash sometimes or a credit or debit card because backward countries do not allow commerce with Bitcoin, or backward merchants are too dumb and lazy to accept it. Not everywhere is El Salvador, unfortunately. 

If you live in Europe or North America, there are plenty of cards available to you. Rest of the world – not so much. And if you are an expat, things become even more problematic. Many KYC systems are just too plain fucking stupid to recognize ID cards or “proof of address” from foreign countries, and if your nationality and your country of residence do not match, they go full red flag and label you a “terrorist” automatically. Retards. 

Fortunately, as crypto becomes more and more recognized and “mainstream” around the world, a few companies have emerged that offer virtual credit and debit cards that can be loaded with crypto, and/or physical cards that are also linked to a crypto-funded account. And a handful of them not only claim to operate worldwide, but actually do and understand the requirements of free spirits that roam this world without boundaries. 

I tried them all, and in the end found 2 that work for my specific situation (German expat with permanent residency in Paraguay), plus one local company in Paraguay that has just started to issue crypto based debit cards as well. 

Please note that both providers are MLM (multi level marketing AKA Tupperware) style companies. Their products are not the cheapest, and you have to ignore the salesy MLM blah (or take part and make some money on the side, if that is your thing). But their products work, and at least BridgeBit has one of the best support teams I ever encountered. Seriously committed and helpful. 

Virtual cards are available without KYC, and they work online and can be added to mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay, zero hiccups so far.

Physical cards require KYC, but both companies (AFAIK they work with a bank in Panama for the cards) are reasonable in their requirements and help with the process – instead of just telling the client to get KYCked somehow or fuck off, like most others do. 

Flyback: have their own token ecosystem, and getting the physical Gold Card requires you to buy and hold 1000 $Fly in your account. No other costs though for the card. Virtual cards are available in several variants (area, currency) and most do NOT require KYC. No reloads though, they are one-time cards, like gift cards. Work great with Apple/Google Pay. 

Sign up here> https://flybacksolutions.com/letsfly?ref=thewanderer

BridgeBit: They also offer KYC free virtual cards, and several levels of physical cards. No tokens to buy here, instead the cards have rather substantial prices attached to them, esp. the Metal VIP Card which sets you back around 800 bucks currently (still in presale, they are just getting started). But they offer much cheaper variants as well from 88 Dollars (presale price, $111 later), and considering how few working options there are with basically world-wide availability, and how great their service is, they are totally worth it. 

Sign up here and try for yourself> https://card.bridge-bit.com/page-register?referral=TheWanderer 

The third company is currently only operating in Paraguay, but AFAIK working to expand to the Mercosur area. X4T provide a valuable service by paying out crypto in local currency or USD with reasonable paperwork (they also offer buying crypto with cash), and recently they launched their own crypto based debit card (currently in beta). Check them out at X4T.com (they speak German, English and Spanish) – that is not an affiliate link, I just like these guys and am very happy that they offer their services in this otherwise still rather “cryptophobic” country that has a very xenophobic banking system. 

Note: opposite to my usual policy (no ads, no affiliate links, no subscription nonsense…) I have added affiliate links to 2 of the debit card providers in this case. So if you decide to give one or more of them a try, I might earn a symbolic commission. The reason for that breach of policy is simple: 

a) since both companies are MLM style clubs they require a referrer when you sign up. So why not me. 

b) it took me a literal fuck ton of time and wasted money to find those that accept expats like me with reasonable KYC effort or even without (depending on type of card) and where you do not end up with an unusable card (like MountainWolf, for example, at least in my case – if you live in other locations they might be a decent option, check them out >>> here <<<!) because their card provider requires a SECOND KYC for the card activation, with different arbitrary requirements… 

So it is appreciated if you sign up “under me”, no worries, I am not your typical MLM/pyramid scheme slave driver, there will be no team calls, motivational harassment and revenue requirements…  LOL