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BitCoin set for real world credit card foray

Hey, remember when BitCoin was slated as the next big thing? Well despite some ringing a death knell for the online currency, there are still believers.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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One such believer is BitInstant, a company looking to act as a bridge between the online currency and the real world. It plans to do so by introducing a Bit Coin credit card.

The card will reportedly function in much the same way as a standard MasterCard, and according to Coding in my Sleep, is set to launch is six to eight weeks time. The site also calls the development is the “biggest Bitcoin breakthrough in recent history”.

The first 1 000 cards will be given away for free with the next batch selling for US$10. Each card will also reportedly contain a QR code and Bitcoin address that will allow people to put funds on the card for a one percent fee.

Although there are already some US-only cards that allow people to make real world purchases using BitCoins, BitInstant’s efforts may well go a long way to taking the virtual currency mainstream.

Perhaps its biggest advantage is that it can be used internationally, meaning that you can use your BitCoin as a relatively secure form of travel currency (by which I mean, you’ll be safer than you would carrying wads of foreign currency on your person).

Second, it will reportedly have much lower costs than comparable services, having apparently cut out the middle man used by other services.