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Bitcoin to get its own debit card

The Bitcoin card will be usable wherever MasterCard is accepted. It’s due out within the next two months.


Chase Hoffberger

Internet Culture

It will only be another six to eight weeks before people will be able to walk into a store, pull out a debit card, and pay for an item at the counter with Bitcoin.

Thanks to Charlie Shrem, cofounder of Bitcoin transfer service BitInstant, there’s a plan in place to introduce a debit card that functions in all the establishments that accept MasterCard—and it’s expected to be available by the middle of autumn.

Shrem revealed this information in an Internet Relay Chat session yesterday, saying that the card will “be like $10 to buy” and only “one percent to put Bitcoins on it.”

“Your Bitcoin Address will be embossed on the [back of the] card as well as a QR code [on the front] so you can send your own coins to the card,” Shrem wrote.

BitInstant plans to print an initial batch of 10,000 cards and make them available to Bitcoin users no matter their residence or citizenship.

“You can be from any country,” Shrem wrote, adding that the cards will be denominated in United States dollars, euros, and British pounds. “So goodbye to border controls.”

Bitcoin’s evolution as a valued form of currency has evolved quite a bit over the past few years. Long considered a unit of monetary worth in little else besides weapons and narcotics trade circles, Bitcoin was exposed as a major concern of the FBI’s in May after an intelligence report leaked onto the Internet.

“The FBI assesses with medium confidence that, in the near term, cyber criminals will treat Bitcoin as another payment option alongside more traditional and established virtual currencies such as WebMoney, which they have little reason to abandon,” the report stated.

It appears the same may soon be true for those who are just looking to pick up a Big Gulp.

Photo via BitInstant

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