The Bitcoin currency system is going through an identity crisis right now. The Bitcoin vs. dollar value is not stable, their flagship trading-platform Bitcoinica is under investigation for lax security and there have been two major hacking attempts targeted at the Bitcoin currency system. In the midst of all the chaos, BitInstant, a Bitcoin transfer service has announced its plans for releasing Bitcoin powered debit and credit cards.
BitInstant is extremely popular for its speed of fund transfer between Bitcoin exchanges. It can shave hours off the transfer time, but the real prize with BitInstant is the speed with which they realize cash deposits. With BitInstant, you can buy Bitcoins in under an hour.
Recently, the co-founder and CEO of BitInstant, Charlie Shrem announced on their IRC channel that they have plans to release Credit Cards and Debit Cards based on the Bitcoin economy. These cards will be launched in 6-8 weeks and will be valid internationally at all merchant establishments that accepts MasterCard.
BitInstant plans to give away the first 1000 cards for free and charge a fee of $10 for issuing further cards. Funding the cards will be charged at 1%, and they will bear a QR code. However, the biggest surprise comes from the announcement that says that these cards will be issued by a major international bank. Some people might see this as unwelcome, as Bitcoins primary motive was to move away from traditional currency and currency systems. But perhaps, it is the only way to reach a worldwide audience for now.
(Via: Hacker News)