Bitcoin: What Is It, and How Do You Use It?
Digital currency may be headed towards the mainstream.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: August 30th, 2012
In a statement, BitInstant explained, "These will not be anonymous debit cards, but rather a highly convenient means for verified customers to spend Bitcoin value around the world."
itcoin—if you haven't heard of it, you're not alone, but you should start reading up on the latest in ways to spend your money. Bitcoin is a digital currency that enables you to send payments to anyone, anywhere in the world, for just about anything. In fact, until now, it's been linked to transactions of the underworld—that is, illegal drugs, porn, and poker. But now, MasterCard is allegedly close to launching a Bitcoin-funded debit card.
If the news is true, Bitcoin may become ubiquitous as far as ways to spend money; just think of how convenient it'd be to not have to worry about currency exchanges. With Bitcoin, you can "trade" all over the world. In turn, the value of Bitcoin may go up, and those trading in the black market may have to find a new, more-illicit way to do so.
BitInstant released a statement regarding the supposed partnership, saying, "We are moving forward and the arrangement with MasterCard will be handled in due time at the proper stage of the process by the partners who work directly with that company. BitInstant's partners, who are issuing the card, have been working with MasterCard for many years."
Interestingly, those "partners" do not include American Express, Visa, Discover, or PayPal—the partnership is between Bitcoin and MasterCard alone.
"All balances for the purposes of the card will be held and collateralized in USD (or the cardholder's native currency). BitInstand will fund the cards in USD, after receiving a user's Bitcoins. These will not be anonymous debit cards, but rather a highly convenient means for verified customers to spend Bitcoin value around the world," the statement continued.
So, in other words, a semi-anonymous debit card, since your bank account wouldn't be connected or funding it, just Bitcoins.
We don't really see the need for having a Bitcoin-funded debit card unless you were indeed doing dirty deeds (for dirt cheap?). While it might be nice if you have family or friends overseas or are doing freelance work with foreigners, we can't see the use for it domestically.
Would you use a Bitcoin debit card? And, more importantly, what would you use it for? We're...curious.