BitInstant is an exchange that helps people who use the digital currency BitCoin transfer funds, and now it wants to branch into offering a prepaid card that can be loaded using BitCoins. The move is one of many to take the virtual currency that was designed to be anonymous and entirely digital out of computers and put it into the real world.
The card will operate as a MasterCard and will contain a QR code and a Bitcoin address that will let users put funds on the card for a 1 percent fee. Shrem said BitInstant has managed to keep fees low by cutting out the middleman used on some U.S.-only Bitcoin credit cards.
While the card has yet to be launched, the article notes that one of the appeals of BitCoin is the anonymity it purports to offer its users. Because of know-your-customer rules required for offering a card, BitCoin users will need to give up a little anonymity. Bitcoin wallet cards that allow people to get paid and bitbills, which store Bitcoins in physical form, are two other attempts to move Bitcoins from cyberspace to earth. Forbes has covered other ways in which BitCoin can be used to fund cards using a process called Original Credit Transactions that operate in a similar fashion to store refunds.
Click here to read more from Forbes.
Click here to read a PaymentsJournal Perspective about BitCoin.
Click here to read more information about a report Mercator Advisory Group published about virtual currencies.