BitInstant Card

6-8 Weeks Until Bitcoin Debit/Credit Card, says BitInstant

Those of you who have been around the Bitcoin block a time or two have probably heard of, and even used, BitInstant. BitInstant is a service that provides the ability to transfer funds between Bitcoin and governmental currencies much more quickly than would otherwise be possible. They’re also well known for certain transaction types not offered anywhere else, such as the ability to buy BTC with cash at thousands of locations across the United States, and the similarly unprecedented ability to withdraw bitcoins to scam-laden PayPal. A few hours ago, Charlie Shrem confirmed in a conversation on IRC that they’re 6 to 8 weeks away from launching the biggest Bitcoin breakthrough in recent history: A bitcoin-funded international debit/credit card.

I’ll paste the entire contents of the IRC conversation at the end of this post, but here’s the basic breakdown so far:

  • The card will function as a standard debit/credit card and should be accepted anywhere that accepts MasterCard, even internationally.
  • The first 1,000 or so will be given away for free, subsequent cards will cost an unknown, but fairly low, amount of money – Mr. Shrem thinks about $10.
  • Funding the card will cost roughly a 1% fee.
  • Each card will bear a QR code on the front and a printed address on the back for funding.
  • There will be an option to hold your card balance in BTC until the card is used to make a payment or withdrawal.
  • Transactions under $1,000 will be funded after the first confirmation, not the standard 6. Transactions over $1,000 were not discussed.
  • The cards themselves will be issued by “a major international bank” that BitInstant has teamed up with. This of course means that the traditional AML or other local laws & regulations for obtaining a bank account, such as proof of identity, will apply as per your jurisdiction.
  • You own the address on the card, though BitInstant has not yet determined the best way to hand over your private keys, or whether they should even offer such an option.
  • Update: There is now a signup form for the first cards going out. I assume there will be something more official on BitInstant’s site in time, but for now this Google form has been made available by Mr. Shrem in the meantime.

 

No tips yet.
Be the first to tip!

Tip With Bitcoin

19PVjSTTnYgroP4LtjRfveNFLs8XEjfsoF

Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked. Vote with your (Bitcoin) wallet!

Share ThisShare on Reddit0Share on Google+113Share on Facebook88Tweet about this on Twitter263
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Comments

  1. Oxmolia says

    Am-I the only one who thinks that using Bitcoins through a credit card nearly deletes all of its advantages? Most notably, the security of Bitcoin (no chargebacks, no credit card duplication, no single point of failure, no need to trust banks and merchants, interoperability)..

    I mean, it's nice to know "there is" a bitcoin credit card since credit cards already are accepted everywhere. This is clearly a good step done!

    However I still think this is not suitable for long term use.. Paying with QR codes and modern cell phones sounds already better to me. With some sort of "Near Field Communication" thing, cell phones could even pay without being connected to Internet. They could send the transaction to the merchant which would itself send it to the Bitcoin network.

    Or another idea, it could be some kind of usb card on which you save a private key, that you can fill with the amount of Bitcoins you want. The merchant would then be able to use the private key to pay itself, while giving you the ability to fill or change the private key at needs..

    Or any other / better ideas possible..

    • says

      I think one of the primary ideas here is to give merchants the ability to spend Bitcoins on operating costs, thus encouraging them to adopt Bitcoin by reducing the added complexities it introduces to their business model. The volatility is still an issue, but widespread adoption could do good things for volatility too. I also know that as a miner it would be very nice to spend my hard-earned coins at Taco Bell without having to jump through hoops and lose money in fees and time at the exchanges, not to mention the effect it could have on price if lots of folks started keeping their profits in BTC until spent.

      I, too, am concerned about the effects of coupling traditional banks to Bitcoin, especially so early in the game, but let's face it: achieving mainstream popularity without ever playing nice with the current establishment is a pipe dream. Much as we all dislike Microsoft, "embrace, extend, extinguish" does work REALLY well.

      If you'd like, I've got a meeting with Charlie Shrem on Thursday and I'd be happy to voice these concerns, see if he has any comments that might soothe your mind?

  2. Oxmolia says

    Am-I the only one who thinks that using Bitcoins through a credit card nearly deletes all of its advantages? Most notably, the security of Bitcoin (no chargebacks, no credit card duplication, no single point of failure, no need to trust banks and merchants, interoperability)..

    I mean, it's nice to know "there is" a bitcoin credit card since credit cards already are accepted everywhere. This is clearly a good step done!

    However I still think this is not suitable for long term use.. Paying with QR codes and modern cell phones sounds already better to me. With some sort of "Near Field Communication" thing, cell phones could even pay without being connected to Internet. They could send the transaction to the merchant which would itself send it to the Bitcoin network.

    Or another idea, it could be some kind of usb card on which you save a private key, that you can fill with the amount of Bitcoins you want. The merchant would then be able to use the private key to pay itself, while giving you the ability to fill or change the private key at needs..

    Or any other / better ideas possible..

    • says

      I think one of the primary ideas here is to give merchants the ability to spend Bitcoins on operating costs, thus encouraging them to adopt Bitcoin by reducing the added complexities it introduces to their business model. The volatility is still an issue, but widespread adoption could do good things for volatility too. I also know that as a miner it would be very nice to spend my hard-earned coins at Taco Bell without having to jump through hoops and lose money in fees and time at the exchanges, not to mention the effect it could have on price if lots of folks started keeping their profits in BTC until spent.

      I, too, am concerned about the effects of coupling traditional banks to Bitcoin, especially so early in the game, but let's face it: achieving mainstream popularity without ever playing nice with the current establishment is a pipe dream. Much as we all dislike Microsoft, "embrace, extend, extinguish" does work REALLY well.

      If you'd like, I've got a meeting with Charlie Shrem on Thursday and I'd be happy to voice these concerns, see if he has any comments that might soothe your mind?

  3. says

    I say we scratch this idea and start paying with time. Like in the movie "In Time" with Justin Timberlake. I have a decade to blow … who wants to go to Bimini this weekend.

  4. says

    I say we scratch this idea and start paying with time. Like in the movie "In Time" with Justin Timberlake. I have a decade to blow … who wants to go to Bimini this weekend.

  5. Andrew Jackson says

    Hi,

    This is Andrew Jackson.I am a financial writer.I have visited your site (codinginmysleep.com ). It's really nice and illustrative.I think you allow guest post.So I want to share my unique and highly informative articles to your readers through your site. It will be a guest post purely for your readers only.If you want to go for article exchange then please feel free and let me know.
    Looking forward for a positive reply.

    Have a great day
    Andrew Jackson

  6. Andrew Jackson says

    Hi,

    This is Andrew Jackson.I am a financial writer.I have visited your site (codinginmysleep.com ). It's really nice and illustrative.I think you allow guest post.So I want to share my unique and highly informative articles to your readers through your site. It will be a guest post purely for your readers only.If you want to go for article exchange then please feel free and let me know.
    Looking forward for a positive reply.

    Have a great day
    Andrew Jackson

  7. says

    A QR code on each card ? Given the card pic is a 'mastercard' – mastercard actually have to approve the design of each card before they will issue for it to be printed… on top of this, individually printing each card is going to be too inefficient / expensive for $10.. I suspect the QR code will be a sticker.

  8. says

    A QR code on each card ? Given the card pic is a 'mastercard' – mastercard actually have to approve the design of each card before they will issue for it to be printed… on top of this, individually printing each card is going to be too inefficient / expensive for $10.. I suspect the QR code will be a sticker.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 6-8 Weeks Until Bitcoin Debit/Credit Card, says BitInstant One of the more exciting announcements of the week and potentially the most disruptive step towards a new direction of payments in recent times (NFC notwithstanding). BitCoin is a decentralised, digital, peer-to-peer currency with real-world value. Despite many high-profile hacks/ransacking of user account balances by nefarious individuals, it’s exciting to see a service offered to bring BitCoins into everyday use via a debit card. Next stop mobile wallets? [...]

  2. [...] 6-8 Weeks Until Bitcoin Debit/Credit Card, says BitInstant One of the more exciting announcements of the week and potentially the most disruptive step towards a new direction of payments in recent times (NFC notwithstanding). BitCoin is a decentralised, digital, peer-to-peer currency with real-world value. Despite many high-profile hacks/ransacking of user account balances by nefarious individuals, it’s exciting to see a service offered to bring BitCoins into everyday use via a debit card. Next stop mobile wallets? [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. [...] 6-8 Weeks Until Bitcoin Debit/Credit Card, says BitInstant One of the more exciting announcements of the week and potentially the most disruptive step towards a new direction of payments in recent times (NFC notwithstanding). BitCoin is a decentralised, digital, peer-to-peer currency with real-world value. Despite many high-profile hacks/ransacking of user account balances by nefarious individuals, it’s exciting to see a service offered to bring BitCoins into everyday use via a debit card. Next stop mobile wallets? [...]

  2. [...] 6-8 Weeks Until Bitcoin Debit/Credit Card, says BitInstant One of the more exciting announcements of the week and potentially the most disruptive step towards a new direction of payments in recent times (NFC notwithstanding). BitCoin is a decentralised, digital, peer-to-peer currency with real-world value. Despite many high-profile hacks/ransacking of user account balances by nefarious individuals, it’s exciting to see a service offered to bring BitCoins into everyday use via a debit card. Next stop mobile wallets? [...]