A Hong Kong-based start-up is looking to help bitcoin users more easily convert their digital currency into dollars with the use of a bitcoin-to-cash ATM/payment card.
Announced today at the Inside Bitcoins conference in New York City, the Cryptex Card will allow consumers to “to turn cryptocurrency into cash at hundreds of thousands of ATMs and millions of merchants’ point-of-sales (POS) worldwide, regardless of whether the merchants or banks accept cryptocurrency.”
In other words, it’s a pretty big deal.
According to Cryptex, the card will be usable in about 80 countries, and here in the United States will be usable on over 90 percent of the ATMs in operation, by Cryptex’s estimation.
“This is a huge development for Bitcoin because Bitcoin ATMs are sparsely located and Bitcoin exchanges make withdrawal a burdensome affair,” said Cryptex co-founder Jamon Rahn. “We are vastly increasing liquidity and convenience for holders of Bitcoin.”
Consumers will order their Cryptex Card online and load it with Bitcoin, which then gets physically shipped like any other credit or debit card. Cryptex will have the requisite AML/KYC processes for each nation it serves built into this ordering process. Once in the user’s hands, it can be reloaded online. When there is an active account balance, using the card is as fast as any prepaid debit card because the balances are already in cash. When it comes time to reload the card with new Bitcoins from the user’s wallet, this process can be done end-to-end in less than 24 hours, with a goal of bringing this process down to less than one minute by this summer.
The company said they will begin shipping out personalized cards in a window of four-to-six weeks to applicants who are approved.
Cryptex co-founder Andy Cheung is said to have over 15 years of experience in payment solutions systems, having previously worked for a number of companies in the industry including China Payment Services and Payment Network International.
The company is backed by some well-known investors, which include Ken Hertz (an early Spotify investor) and Michael Terpin, co-founder of BitAngels and founder of Marketwire.
What do you think? Will you be signing up?