Bitcoin-funded debit/credit card coming in 6-8 weeks

By on August 21, 2012, 7:30 PM

Users of electronic cash protocol Bitcoin might soon have another way to access and spend funds. During a recent IRC chat with BitInstant co-founder Charlie Shrem, it was revealed that his company was 6-8 weeks away from launching a Bitcoin-funded international debit / credit card that will be issued by two unnamed major banks: one international and one domestic.

Update (8.22): A spokesperson from MasterCard sent us the following statement, making it clear that the company is not currently involved or participating in the launch of a Bitcoin credit card.

"MasterCard has no relationship with BitInstant. There are issuers who allow the conversion of Bitcoins to US dollars and other currencies, delivered on prepaid cards. However, we're not aware of this particular programme from BitInstant."

Coding in My Sleep notes the card will function like a regular debit or credit account and should be accepted wherever MasterCard is accepted – virtually everywhere. The first 1,000 cards will be given away for free but after those have been spoken for, expect to pay around $10 for a card.

Shrem says that each card will have a QR code on the front that can be scanned to complete transactions under $1,000 and a printed address on the back bearing the user’s Bitcoin Address. Expect to pay a 1 percent fee to fund the card and a $1.50 ATM withdrawal fee.

Since the card will be issued by major banks, users will have to adhere to local laws and regulations including proof of identification. This, of course, would effectively do away with the anonymous aspect that typically comes with Bitcoin usage.

We’re still waiting on an official announcement from BitInstant with regards to the card but in the meantime, we’d like to know if you use Bitcoin and if so, what are your thoughts about the service as a whole?

User Comments: 7

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howzz1854 said:

I thought about mining.. but never was able to go through the process mostly due to unsure of how bitcoin will pan out in the future.

Guest said:

alredy was time.

Guest said:

Why or how does a single bitcoin even worth anything at all? I don't get it. Someone care to educate me?

Guest said:

It's fiat money that we anonymously give value while buying drugs on the silk road.

Guest said:

Oh goody, dollar wannabe. I can't wait to try bitcoin ! I heard it's so good, it's worth more than gold !

......... Onward to La-la land !

Guest said:

Bitcoins have value for the same reason Dollars have value:

Someone says it does.

Guest said:

Any currency has value because it is accepted by two parties and serves as an easy medium of exchange, as well as an external source of value (ie, it can measure the value of two goods not easily exchanged - shoes for toasters, for instance - how many toasters are shoes worth, &c.), not necessarily just because "someone says they do".

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