Saturday, 3 August 2013

"I want to change the world," states Bitcoin's first debit card creator

“I want to do something that can possibly change the world,” Cameron Halter says.
It’s a big claim but then dreaming big is not necessarily a bad thing.
Halter is the man behind bitcoin’s first debit card, one of the latest ideas to try to push bitcoin out to a wider audience and take it mainstream. His company, Tradecoinz, is hoping to launch the iBTCard in a matter of months and is gauging interest now by asking people to pre-register to reserve their spot to obtain a card.

Halter says the main reason he decided to create a debit style card for bitcoin was to try to address what he saw as three key issues with the currency: Security, useability and acceptance. After a year of research he believes he is ready to develop such a card. “We believe this card will help fix some of the problems bitcoin has. We are developing with technology people who already understand and use bitcoin almost every day. I believe this card will increase acceptance of bitcoin and encourage consumers to sign up,” he says.

In addition to the PIN that is used with most debit cards, the iBTCard will also require one-time password (OTP) authentication and he hopes that merchants will easily be able to integrate the iBTCard into their current point of sale (POS) systems. “If they have a supported POS, all they will need to do is install a simple update from the POS manufacturer,” Halter says, although on bitcointalk he did concede that this may take some time and is currently in talks with POS manufacturers.

For the consumer, what he hopes will prove a big attraction are the absence of monthly fees. Halter told us the card will function just like a Visa or MasterCard. “When a request enters our system, it will contain the amount requested in fiat. We will then convert that amount into bitcoins and pull that amount from the cardholder's wallet.”  What mechanism they will use to determine the bitcoin value at the time of the transaction he did not say and he is still looking for potential wallet clients to work with so won’t give names at the moment.

There are also plans to integrate the iBTCard with ATMs in several major cities but he told us he will figure out where those will be from the data he receives during preregistration.

Halter's passion and enthusiasm for bitcoin are infectious. He believes getting bitcoin circulating is key to the future success of the currency. “I see a future where at least 30% of the global transactions involve bitcoin. This will take a lot of effort and require hard working individuals to make this happen. The current path bitcoin is taking isn't promising.” He says in reference to the fact that more than 50% of bitcoins are currently lying in dormant wallets and states that unless this changes, “bitcoin will continue to be an unstable currency,”. He went on to say, “I believe a series of groundbreaking companies have the opportunity to push bitcoin to a successful path.”

In order to become one of those companies, Halter is hoping to raise over $500,000 through a combination of investment and crowdfundingHe hopes that if they manage to raise enough, they will have a demo card ready by October 5th, with plans to reveal it at the Crypto-Currency Conference in Atlanta.

There is certainly no doubting his ambitions for this project, nor for the company itself. His final words to us: “I don't want to create a great company. I want to create a great company that changes the world.”

By Louise @ Bitscan

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