Bitcoin Ventures Inc. has developed a prepaid card that it says will allow individuals to buy bitcoins for cash at retail outlets.
The gift cards are denominated in dollars, and the stored funds can be used on the Bitcoin Ventures’ website to purchase bitcoins. The current exchange rate on Mt. Gox, the largest Bitcoin exchange, is about $123 per bitcoin.
The company has not yet found any distribution partners. Even if the cards end up on j-hooks, it is not clear that they will offer any value to the buying public. A person who needs electronic currency can just as easily buy an open-loop prepaid card without risking the loss of value in currency fluctuations. No merchants accept bitcoin to the exclusion of all other forms of payment, so there are no payments problems that the card – or the currency – manages to solve. Ultimately, it seems Bitcoin is a solution in search of a problem.
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