Mastercard Doesn’t Want Anything to do with Bitcoin
It’s understandable why Mastercard is quick to clear up that they are not part of the plans for the Bitcoin debit card which Bitinstant plans on releasing in the coming months. An image featuring Mastercard’s logo circulated the internet, prompting the credit card company to clarify:
“MasterCard has no relationship with BitInstant. There are issuers who allow the conversion of Bitcoins to US dollars and other currencies, delivered on prepaid cards. However, we’re not aware of this particular programme from BitInstant.”
Mastercard might not be too thrilled with the launching of the first internationally accepted Bitcoin-funded debit card. Bitinstant has claimed that it is working with affiliates of Mastercard, and that it could work with Mastercard in the near future. If the debit card came to fruition, bitcoins would be more likely to become ubiquitous exchange mediums.
“All balances for the purposes of the card will be held and collateralized in USD (or the cardholder’s native currency)”, said the BitInstant Team. “BitInstant 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 ease of use would surely chase away what would be bad payment methods. Want to send $5 to the other side of the world? Bitcoin allows you to do that for less than a penny in around ten minutes. Want to send $1 million dollars across the Atlantic? No problem – Bitcoin can do it in a similar amount of time, for just a little more in costs.
The seamless ease of use makes bitcoin a formidable foe of traditional banking mechanisms. Bitcoin allows an added element of privacy, although bitinstant will be held to Know Your Customer statutes brought in after 9/11. Nonetheless, as fees continue to increase and increasing amounts of paperwork make transacting via the dominant financial system too burdensome, consumers will look for avenues to escape the red-tape. With bitcoin coming into mainstream finance, slowly but surely, it will be there to catch the attention of consumers.