Author Topic: Bitcoin debit cards coming soon!  (Read 1721 times)

Offline maplesyrupghost

Bitcoin debit cards coming soon!
« on: July 17, 2012, 05:32:56 pm »
Money Monday: BitCoin Debit Cards

July 16th, 2012

When I first heard about BitCoins about a year ago I was really hesitant to adopt them because I had so much trouble understanding the more technical aspects of the currency. Encryption was the stuff of spy movies as far as I was concerned. For me currency had to be simple, and precious metals fulfilled that role just fine. But when dropped the dollar completely, and suddenly I was being paid in BitCoins, I got a crash course. So, in many ways I’m a luddite when it comes to BitCoin, but I’m an enthusiastic Luddite. As I share this report please forgive my lack of technical expertise. You can read all the technical details you want over at where I found this report. But the long and the short of it is… you can load debit cards with BitCoins

Based on my understanding of the Forbes article, we’re not saying that this is coming. We’re saying this is possible right now with your existing debit card using a little-known seldom-used type of transaction in a new way. On the VisaNet system it’s called an ‘Original Credit Transaction’ and there are similar features offered by most major cards.

Original Credit Transactions are designed to act like a refund, to credit your card back when you return an item, but apparently they don’t have to be associated with an original purchase. They can be used to receive funds with your card. Here’s where BitCoin comes in.

Withdraw2Card is a service from the AurumXchange Company that allows you to sell your BitCoins and receive payment on a debit or credit card by one of these transactions. Most major credit cards are supported (Visa, MasterCard, Amex  etc.) and they currently denominate payments in USD and EUR with more to come. You can sell your BitCoins at an existing exchange (MtGox, BTC-e, CryptoXchange, and Bitcoinica) and use a redeemable coupon code to order a payment to your debit/credit card on their website. The BitCoin client sends the funds instantly and your bank credits the amount usually within 1-4 business days.

Here’s the catch… there’s a $9 fee for each payment charged by the processor as well as some additional percentage charges specific to the exchange client. There’s also a minimum transfer amount of $15 and a maximum of $1,000. So maybe it’s not quite ready for prime time for luddites like me. I guess it’s mostly being used as an alternative to wire transfers. But I’m confident that early adopters will troubleshoot this thing into something we can all understand very quickly. According to AurumXchange, they plan to offer direct two-way convertibility for bitcoin in the near future so you won’t need the redeemable coupons codes anymore. That should reduce the complexity and the fees associated.

AurumXchange’s General Manager Roberto Gutierrez explains:

“The service so far has been tremendously popular. Just counting countries alone where people don’t have access to bank accounts or foreign wires are highly taxed or scrutinized, such as Africa, Brazil and China to name a few, we have processed over 3,000 orders since we started a few weeks ago. North American and European customers have been using the service quite a lot as well especially for small transactions that would otherwise be too expensive to conduct through means such as international wire transfers.”

There is a second option. The OKPAY Debit Card is issued by Limited in Cyprus. They have integrated BitCoin into the OKPAY system so you can fund your OKPAY account directly with bitcoin. They don’t offer the Original Credit Transaction feature to any card, but they provide direct conversion of BitCoin to their proprietary Mastercard product.

Last March in my article “Sci-Fi Money” I wrote:

“What we have now is a state monopoly destroying the stability of the dollar, and an ecosystem of private fund transferring services constantly competing to improve its fluidity. After the collapse inevitably comes these technologies will still exist, ready to substitute whatever currency comes next. Whether they know it or not, these companies are developing the digital infrastructure of the future currency.”

But it’s becoming clear now that they aren’t going to wait for the collapse. The future currency is replacing dollar in digital infrastructure right now, and it’s going to be so seamless Luddites like me might not even notice.

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